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House Adopts Independent Ethics Oversight

Statement of Gary Kalman, Director of Ohio PIRG’s Federal Legislative Office
For Immediate Release

"The House of Representatives voted tonight to establish an independent Office of Congressional Ethics.

"This vote was about going beyond the easy rhetoric of reform and taking a concrete step to correct what has been a dysfunctional ethics process. We now have an opportunity to get past the recent failures of the House to ensure honest representation on behalf of the American people. It represents a meaningful step toward fixing the broken and discredited ethics enforcement process.

"The problem of ethics enforcement in Congress can not be fixed by simply calling upon the party leaders to ‘expect it to work’ as was suggested during the floor debate. The existing system is fatally flawed. The public has long since lost faith in the integrity of the institution. The creation of the new Office strikes at the status quo and establishes an independent and open process that will lead to greater accountability.

"Tonight, the House leadership made good on their commitments to the public to aggressively work for changes that will rein in the ethical abuses we have witnessed in the past few years. Ohio PIRG applauds all of those who voted in support of new ethics enforcement. We especially recognize the extraordinary efforts of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Task Force Chairman and bill sponsor Michael Capuano (D-MA), both who fought tirelessly to ensure meaningful reform."

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