On March 11, 2008, Congresswoman Betty Sutton led the fight to pass historic legislation to create an Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) as an independent body within the House. The legislation passed the House with a vote of 229-182.
“The formation of this independent ethics entity will help cure many of the inherent structural flaws that restrain our present ethics structure by eliminating the conflicts of interest that are found in our current system,” Sutton said. “The formation of the OCE is an illustration of our commitment to restoring the public’s trust in government and to ensure that any potential abuses in the future will be identified and addressed.”
The independent OCE would be composed of six individuals appointed jointly by the Speaker and Minority leader. Current Members of the House and lobbyists are not eligible to serve on the panel.
After enacting the strongest ethics and lobbying reforms since the Watergate era earlier this year, this Democratic Congress continues to deliver on the pledge to end the culture of corruption and restore public trust in government. H.Res.895 is essential to instilling confidence in the ethics process and ensuring Members of Congress who violate the law or rules of the House of Representatives are held accountable for their actions.