URGENT: Call Congress on Congressional Ethics Oversight

Update, 13:40:

REPUBLICANS BACK DOWN. Rachel Maddow reports.


“We’re from the Government. We’re here to help.”

Those words are a cliché of chilling authoritarianism precisely because we don’t trust the government with oversight of their own actions. They are accountable to us, not to themselves.

Well, now the Republicans would like the body which judges the ethics of members of the House of Representatives to be accountable to … The House of Representatives.

As reported over at Politico:

In one of their first moves of the new Congress, House Republicans have voted to gut their own independent ethics watchdog — a huge blow to cheerleaders of congressional oversight and one that dismantles major reforms adopted after the Jack Abramoff scandal.

Monday’s effort was led, in part, by lawmakers who have come under investigation in recent years.

Despite a warning from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Republicans adopted a proposal by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to put the Office of Congressional Ethics under the jurisdiction of the House Ethics Committee.

The office currently has free rein, enabling investigators to pursue allegations and then recommend further action to the House Ethics Committee as they see fit.

Now, the office would be under the thumb of lawmakers themselves.

The vote is this afternoon. Call your Representative.


ETA: I just called my representative, Ann McLane Kuster, her Concord office: (603) 226-1002. “Hello. I am calling to urge Congresswoman Kuster to keep the Office of Congressional Ethics independent, and NOT to put it under the jurisdiction of the House Ethics Committee.”

Congresswoman Kuster’s staffer told me that Congresswoman Kuster is advocating against this measure, and will vote against it when it comes to the floor for a vote.

The actual call took 1 minute and 48 seconds.

You can find your Congressional representative here. It is more effective if you CALL (rather than e-mail or like on Facebook or text). If you call at their state office, not their Washington office, they have to take your call, and it has more impact.

Make your voice heard!


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