“While the Committee has endorsed the principle that ‘each individual Member has the responsibility of deciding for himself whether his personal interest in pending legislation requires that he abstain from voting,’ it has, in the past, investigated allegations that a Member had violated the rule by not refraining from voting in a particular instance. It has also occasionally provided confidential advice to Members that it would be inappropriate for them to vote or introduce legislation,” the memo said.
The memo also said that investment opportunities offered to Congressional staffers earlier or at a better rate than the general public would, in most cases, constitute an impermissible gift, according to ethics rules.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.