Congressional Democrats to Make a Big Move on Ethics
It's about time. Democratic leaders in Congress have announced that they will move next week to eliminate the rule that only fellow members can file complaints about wrongdoing, and also create an outside ethics commission to assess the merit of such charges.
Many Democrats are grumbling that the changes might trigger an avalanche of groundless allegations from political foes, but it's long past time to strengthen the ethics apparatus in Congress. Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover), who replaced scandal-ridden Rep. Bob Ney (R-Heath) and is pinning his re-election hopes on developing a record as a champion of ethics reform, gets a nice quote in the coverage at CQ Politics:
“Back in my district, they are looking for movement on this,” said Zack Space of Ohio, after he and other Democratic freshmen were briefed on the proposal during their weekly sit-down with Pelosi.
Space is the successor to Bob Ney, R-Ohio (1995-2006), who is in prison after pleading guilty to federal bribery charges in connection with his duties as a congressman.
“It is part of my responsibility to help restore faith in the government that has been lost by the betrayal Bob Ney committed,” Space said.
Freshmen appeared encouraged by the proposal, even though many wanted the outside commission to have more power, such as the ability to subpoena witnesses, Space said.