U.S. House: CLC Applauds “Clean Up Government Act” Unanimous Committee Vote: Statement of Meredith McGehee, Policy Director
Today, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed the “Clean Up Government Act of 2011” (H.R. 2572). The legislation would restore important tools for federal prosecutors fighting public corruption – specifically revisions to the Honest Services and illegal gratuities statutes – that have gradually been pared away by adverse court decisions. A companion measure has been reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is awaiting full Senate action.
Campaign Legal Center Policy Director Meredith McGehee issued the following statement after the vote.
“Today’s Committee vote was encouraging but the preceding debate was not. Fortunately the verbal heel-dragging ceased when the vote was called. Still, there may be attempts, cloaked in the guise of concerns about over-criminalizing politics, to weaken the measure as it moves forward. This legislation is too important to fall victim to Congress’ reticence to pass anything that might hold Members accountable. . With record low approval ratings, it is vital for Congress to show its willingness to get serious about combating public corruption.
“We urge Speaker Boehner to schedule a full House vote on H.R. 2572 this month before Congress adjourns as should Majority Leader Harry Reid on the Leahy-Cornyn bill in the Senate. Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) deserve credit for fashioning a bipartisan bill that could pass this usually polarized Committee unanimously.”
To read the letter sent yesterday to the full committee by the Legal Center and a coalition of reform groups, click here.