“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.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.