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House Ethics reform letter final

House Ethics reform letter final

Page 1: House Ethics reform letter final


Number of Pages:2

Date Created:October 6, 2014

Date Uploaded to the Library:October 06, 2014

Tags:Ethics, letter, Congress

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October 2014 
The Honorable John Boehner   The Honorable Nancy Pelosi 
Speaker the House     House Minority Leader 
U.S. House Representatives   U.S. House Representatives 
Washington,  20515    Washington,  20515 
Dear Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi: 
 The process the U.S. House Representatives currently employs investigate and resolve allegations ethical improprieties and violations was significantly improved with the creation the Office Congressional Ethics (OCE).  The Office has provided place for allegations credibly heard and investigated and has alleviated some the most serious concerns about process that had become utterly dysfunctional. 
 But there are still weaknesses the current system that need addressed quickly and meaningfully. the undersigned groups urge you, bipartisan agreement, publicly endorse these changes: 
 Make OCE permanent. was noted previous letter,1 urge you publicly and expeditiously announce your intention continue the Office Congressional Ethics (OCE) for the 114th Congress.  The OCE has provided credible means for allegations violations Members and staff investigated and, warranted, dismissed and has compiled stellar record conducting fair investigations and bipartisan cooperation.  Yet the OCE lives state instability, existing tenuously from Congress Congress.  OCE should made more permanent institution Congress. 
 OCE should given subpoena power. 

 Currently, the OCE does not have the power compel testimony from witnesses when investigating allegations ethics violations. result, the Office can hobbled its efforts complete its investigation which turn undermines its fact-finding function and the scope its recommendations. providing this power, rules can included ensure the power issue subpoena wielded carefully bipartisan manner and protect against abuses.  But without it, uncooperative witness can stymie investigation, blocking the OCE from working intended and shielding important aspects investigation from review. 
 Increase transparency and access information from the House Committee Ethics  

 The House Ethics Committee continues most its work behind closed doors, giving rise reasonable suspicions that more interested protecting individual Members than the integrity the institution.  One important step that can taken increase the Committees credibility increase and improve the public availability documents pertaining House ethics, such all current and historic guidance ("pink sheets") issued the 
Committee. addition, many the ethics documents made available through the Clerk's office should also online, such legal defense fund disclosures and statements recusal. applaud the Committee for publishing its current and historic decisions online and hope will continue the practice. look forward hearing your response these proposals. 
Campaign Legal Center 
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics Washington (CREW) 
Common Cause 
Judicial Watch 
Thomas Mann League Women Voters 
National Taxpayers Union 
Norman Ornstein 
Project Government Oversight (POGO) 
Public Citizen 
Sunlight Foundation 
Taxpayers for Common Sense 
James Thurber