Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Don Owens, Deputy Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7767
dowens@citizen.org

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779
kgower@citizen.org

David Rosen, Press Officer, Regulatory Affairs
w. (202) 588-7742
drosen@citizen.org

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog
Facebook/publiccitizen

Follow us on Twitter

 

Jan. 3, 2017

House Republicans Gut Independent Ethics Office, Inviting Corruption

Statements of Public Citizen Experts

Note: On Monday, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to significantly curtail the power of the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent ethics office set up in 2008 in the aftermath of numerous corruption scandals.

Lisa Gilbert, director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division:

“The Office of Congressional Ethics was created to bring accountability to a broken House ethics system. Before the creation of the office, the House Ethics Committee was a black box of inaction. The office has brought transparency and action to a moribund process and received nothing but praise from those watching the congressional ethics system.

Following an election in which disdain for corruption in Washington was a defining issue – for the Republican presidential candidate, no less – it is an outrage that House Republicans are planning to undermine one of the effective moves in recent years to reduce corruption. For House Republicans to hamstring this critical ethics watchdog behind closed doors in the 115th Congress rules package sends a powerful signal concerning the way they intend to govern. There is still time to change the package, and we urge the House leadership to stand up to this covert move to derail the ethics process.”

Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. Holman helped set up the Office of Congressional Ethics:

“Now holding a majority in both chambers of Congress and controlling the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court, House Republicans have rolled back the congressional ethics rules imposed upon Congress in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandals rampant when the GOP last controlled the legislative process. The incoming Trump administration has snubbed concerns about conflicts of interest in the executive branch, and Trump’s colleagues in Congress have taken that cue to rid themselves of their own ethical constraints.

We are returning to the era of robber barons running our government, doing whatever they see fit.”

###

Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

You can support the fight for greater government and corporate accountability through a donation to either Public Citizen, Inc., or Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.

Public Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability. When you make a contribution to Public Citizen, you become a member of Public Citizen, showing your support and entitling you to benefits such as Public Citizen News. Contributions to Public Citizen are not tax-deductible.

Public Citizen Foundation focuses on research, public education, and litigation in support of our mission. By law, the Foundation can engage in only very limited lobbying. Contributions to Public Citizen Foundation are tax-deductible.