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Judicial Watch • Office Congressional Ethics Co-Chair Letter

Office Congressional Ethics Co-Chair Letter

Office Congressional Ethics Co-Chair Letter

Page 1: Office Congressional Ethics Co-Chair Letter


Number of Pages:2

Date Created:April 22, 2016

Date Uploaded to the Library:April 22, 2016

Tags:appt, Skaggs, office congressional ethics, Impartial, partisan, representative, Representatives, Investigations, Chair, Congressional, rules, 2016, Members, Ethics, legal, Congress, speaker, National, committee, office, Washington

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April 22, 2016
The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker, U.S. House Representatives
The Capitol
Washington, 20515
Dear Speaker Ryan:
One year ago, former Representative Porter Goss (R-FL) announced that was
stepping down Co-Chair the Office Congressional Ethics (OCE). Mr. Goss
joined the Office July 2008. His tenure, with his Co-Chair, former Representative
David Skaggs (D-CO), who still serving, was marked remarkable commitment
achieving bipartisan consensus. Unlike the House Ethics Committee, the Office has
functioned smoothly and has rarely been marked partisan bickering.
Even though the Office continues function and fulfill its investigatory
responsibilities with respect alleged violations House ethics rules, the undersigned
groups strongly urge you move expeditiously announce replacement for Mr. Goss. naming replacement, you will send needed signal that you support the Office and
that you are committed, the institutional leader the House Representatives,
continuing the Office the next Congress.
During its eight years, the Office Congressional Ethics has compiled
admirable record conducting impartial, professional investigations. Its interpretations House Rules have been both reasonable and consistent, thereby giving the Office
reputation for fairness and integrity. These achievements were way guaranteed
when the Office began. The Office could have easily devolved into the kind partisan
bickering that has plagued the Ethics Committee. Or, could have interpreted House
Rules manner that runs counter common-sense understanding the Rules
meanings and intent. Thanks the early leadership Chairmen Skaggs and Goss, that
has not, date, occurred. also must note our continued belief that, light OCE experience, the
Office should have subpoena power ensure full cooperation witnesses essential
its investigations. urge you support that change the Rules for the 115th
Congress. are aware that small number House Members from both sides the aisle
remain eager eliminate weaken the Office. The Office cardinal virtues including
its dedication avoiding entanglements partisan politics and following the evidence
wherever leads apparently intimidate some Members, who would more
comfortable with closed ethics process that relies only sitting Members.
Their fear unfounded. conducting impartial investigations and reasonably
interpreting House Rules, the Office has provided important protection Members who
have been falsely accused rules violations. Because the Office record date,
finding that exonerates Members viewed highly credible media and public alike.
This credibility provides Members the means demonstrate the allegations were
unfounded. more time should pass without new Co-Chair. strongly urge you
appoint individual from your party who will continue OCE commitment fair and
impartial investigations and avoiding partisan posturing favoritism. would happy meet with you provide suggestions further discuss
issues concerns about OCE that you may have.
Campaign Legal Center
Citizens for Responsibility Ethics Washington (CREW)
Common Cause
Demand Progress
Issue One
Judicial Watch
National Legal and Policy Center
National Taxpayers Union
Norm Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Project Government Oversight (POGO)
Public Citizen