December 31, 2012
Office of Congressional Ethics Needs Reauthorization to Continue
The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) -- which gets its mandate and funding from Congress -- must be reauthorized by this Congress, which soon adjourns, or early on by the new Congress. What's more, at least four of the OCE's board members are approaching the end of their terms, and new members must be selected and appointed for the organization to continue with its work.
No investigations or reports can be done by the office until their board is in place.
The OCE was formed four years ago when then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and others declared they wanted to "drain the swamp" of scandals and corruption in Washington. Among the biggest scandals that prompted action was that of Jack Abramoff, a former lobbyist, who admitted in 2006 to illegally showering gifts on officials in exchange for favors.Ken Boehm, chairman of the conservative National Legal and Policy Center, commented that if the OCE is not reauthorized and new board members are not appointed, it would "(send) the message to the public that not only is the ethics system broken, but it doesn't even exist anymore."