Press releases

Issue One joins broad coalition urging Congress to strengthen, not weaken, congressional ethics watchdog

Media Contact

Cory Combs

Director of Media Relations

Issue One today joined a broad coalition of two dozen organizations in urging Congress to strengthen, not weaken, the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).

The new letter warns that changes proposed by House Republican leadership would weaken OCE “to the point that it will not be able to perform its essential core function: providing oversight and accountability in Congress.”

“It is essential to protect and preserve the efficient functioning of OCE,” the letter states. “OCE provides independent, nonpartisan oversight and accountability, which increases the public’s trust in the U.S. House of Representatives and its members.”

The letter continues: “Past attempts to gut OCE have not only been detrimental to the public’s trust in Congress, but those moves have also been politically damaging and met with widespread public backlash. There is no reason to think this time will be any different. We strongly urge this Congress to reverse course and remove Sec. 4(d)(6) and Sec. 4(d)(7) from the House rules proposal so that the Office of Congressional Ethics maintains its full strength.”

The letter further urges Congress to strengthen OCE by giving the ethics watchdog the ability to issue subpoenas to third parties, allowing OCE to publish written reports about non-cooperative members as soon as it refers the investigation to the House Committee on Ethics, and requiring the House Speaker to nominate OCE board members through concurrence with the minority leader, not consultation.

Read the full letter.

The full list of signatories is as follows:

Campaign Legal Center

American Federation of Teachers

Blue Wave Postcard Movement

Business for America

Campaign for Accountability

Cause Communications

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

Common Cause

Demand Progress

DemCast USA

Democracy 21

End Citizens United / Let America Vote Action Fund

Fix Democracy First

Government Information Watch


Indivisible Santa Fe

Issue One

Pride At Work

Protect Democracy

Public Citizen

Revolving Door Project

Senior Executives Association (SEA)

The Digital Democracy Project

Professor James A. Thurber

20/20 Vision DC