House and Senate Leaders Urged to Strengthen Congressional Ethics Rules for 115th Congress


Congress can make good on calls to ‘drain the swamp’

WASHINGTON – Today, a coalition of watchdog groups and congressional scholars urged House and Senate leaders from both parties to strengthen ethics rules and address known weaknesses in current rules. The package of proposed reforms cover travel, conflicts of interest, campaign activities by members and staff while Congress is meeting, the revolving door and enforcement. 

“With the incoming Trump administration’s promise to ‘drain the swamp,’ Congress has an opportunity to clean up its own house and enact common sense reforms to help restore faith in government,” said Meredith McGehee, strategic advisor at the Campaign Legal Center. “Americans are looking for Congress to recommit to ethics by closing loopholes and addressing conflicts of interest.”

“These reforms are non-partisan solutions that Republicans and Democrats should support,” said Aaron Scherb, director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, “because the American public expects and deserves a Congress that holds itself to the highest ethical standard.”

“This House of Representatives should seize on these recommendations during this rare opportunity to systematically address longstanding issues with the way it polices ethics,” said Daniel Schuman, policy director at Demand Progress.

Detailed in the attached report are 15 specific recommendations for the 115th Congress. This Congress must work to follow through on its promises to put the American people before big donors and special interests by strengthening ethical protections. Endorsing these recommendations will show Americans that their government stands with them and is serious about changing Washington.

Joining in urging support for the proposed reforms are:

  • Campaign Legal Center
  • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
  • Common Cause
  • Demand Progress
  • Democracy 21
  • Issue One
  • Project on Government Oversight
  • Public Citizen
  • Thomas Mann
  • Norm Ornstein
  • James Thurber