Langevin Statement on Vote to Undermine Office of Congressional Ethics

Langevin Statement on Vote to Undermine Office of Congressional Ethics
Independent Oversight Office Stripped of Investigatory Powers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) released the following statement
in opposition to Republican efforts to effectively eliminate the Office of
Congressional Ethics, the independent panel that reviews ethics complaints against
Members of Congress:

«It’s a new year and a new low for House Republicans, opening the 115th Congress by
stripping critical oversight and accountability procedures from the Office of
Congressional Ethics. I cannot understand how anyone could justify voting for this
measure. The Office of Congressional Ethics is currently an independent,
non-partisan entity. The office has, historically, been able to investigate
wrongdoing by Members of Congress, including anonymous reports by whistleblowers. By
stripping this office of its power and instead transferring oversight to the House
Ethics Committee – into the very hands of those who could be subject to such
investigations – House Republicans have betrayed the trust of their constituents.

«This is a disheartening start to the new Congress, to say the very least, and I
condemn this move in the strongest terms possible. This is a time of uncertainty for
so many in this country, and reducing accountability and transparency, effectively
giving Members of Congress a free pass, does nothing to alleviate the very real
concerns of those questioning who and what their elected leaders truly represent.»