Speaker Ryan Must Appoint a New Co-Chair to the Congressional Ethics Office
The Campaign Legal Center, Other Groups, Remind Speaker Ryan It’s Been One Year Since the Last OCE Co-Chair Stepped Down
WASHINGTON – The Campaign Legal Center, joined by an unusual coalition of groups and congressional experts from across the political spectrum, today called on House Speaker Paul D. Ryan to appoint a new co-chair of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) to replace former Rep. Goss (R-Fla.) who stepped down one year ago today.
“Naming a replacement for Rep. Goss will send a much needed signal that the Speaker supports the OCE and that he is committed, as the institutional leader of the House of Representatives, to continuing the Office of Congressional Ethics in the next Congress,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director of the Campaign Legal Center. “The OCE is essential to ensuring public credibility in Congress. The House Ethics Committee, through inaction or tortured interpretations of ethics rules and standards, continues to demonstrate how important it is to have OCE’s independent voice in the congressional ethics process.”
Signing the letter are: the Campaign Legal Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Demand Progress, Democracy 21, Issue One, Judicial Watch, National Legal and Policy Center, National Taxpayers Union, Norm Ornstein, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and Public Citizen.
The OCE was created in response to a serious loss of public credibility in the ability of Congress to enforce its own ethics rules and standards. The investigations undertaken by the congressional ethics committees were often perceived by the public as whitewashes. Further, partisanship within the House Ethics Committee’s ranks had left it unable to conduct Committee business in a fair and impartial manner.