House Ethics Committee

House committee renews ethics inquiries into Collins, Hunter and Schweikert
Probes of Hunter and Collins, who are under indictment, put on hold at Justice Department request

Arizona Rep. David Schweikert is one of three Republicans, along with  Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter, who will remain under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for the 116th Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call photo)

House Ethics Committee investigations into Republicans Chris Collins of New York, Duncan Hunter of California and David Schweikert of Arizona were reauthorized for the 116th Congress this week.

The Ethics Committee voted unanimously to reauthorize investigative subcommittees looking into the three lawmakers, but the panel agreed to a Justice Department request to put its probes into Collins and Hunter on hold as they battle criminal indictments.

Ethics Committee still reviewing Schweikert allegations, releases initial OCE referral
Arizona Republican and former chief of staff allegedly misused office resources and broke campaign committee rules

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., is still under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegations that he misused office resources and violated campaign committee rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee is continuing an investigation into allegations that Rep. David Schweikert and his former chief of staff misused office resources and violated campaign committee rules, as the panel on Wednesday released the initial report from the Office of Congressional Ethics board unanimously recommending it review the matter.

OCE’s six-member board voted unanimously on April 5, 2018 to refer the allegations involving the Arizona Republican to the House Ethics Committee, which opened an investigation in May.

Fliers beware: House Ethics issues a refresher on private plane travel
Ethics Committee says it has received ‘numerous inquiries’ on the topic

The House Ethics Committee released a memo Wednesday reminding lawmakers and staff of rules for travel on private planes. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Back by popular demand: House Ethics rules on private plane usage.

The House Ethics Committee released a memo Wednesday reminding lawmakers and staff of rules for travel on private planes.

Tips and calls to the Office of Congressional Ethics spiked last session
More than 13,300 private citizens reached out to group charged with reviewing misconduct allegations

Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi receives the gavel from outgoing House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in January. The pair announced Office of Congressional Ethics appointees for the 116th Congress on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Citizen outreach to the Office of Congressional Ethics more than doubled in the 115th Congress, but the agency’s pre-election blackout period means they didn’t take action on any cases in the last quarter of 2018.

More than 13,300 private citizens contacted the Office of Congressional Ethics during the 115th Congress, up from 6,285 in the 114th Congress, according to the OCE’s most recent quarterly report. The contacts fall into two categories: allegations of misconduct and requests for information about the OCE.

Rep. Tim Ryan files ethics complaint on Steve King’s promotion of hate website
Complaint could revive efforts to censure Iowa Republican congressman

Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan accused Republican Rep. Steve King of using his House site of promoting white nationalism. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Tim Ryan filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee this week saying that Rep. Steve King is using his official House website to promote a white nationalist blog.

The move could revive efforts by Ryan and Illinois Democrat Bobby L. Rush to censure King for his racist comments.

Florida’s Ted Deutch to lead House Ethics Committee
Panel has taken on high-profile investigations of members in recent years

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., will lead the House Ethics panel in the 116th Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Florida’s Ted Deutch will be the new chairman of the House Ethics Committee, which has taken on high-profile investigations of members in recent years.

“House Democrats are thrilled to welcome Congressman Ted Deutch as Chair of the Ethics Committee, where his towering integrity and firm commitment to fairness and justice will be invaluable to our mission to restore transparency, ethics and accountability to the Congress,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday. As leader of her party, Pelosi appoints the chair of the Ethics panel, along with other committees such as House Administration and Rules. 

House Ethics reminds members and staff of rules for life after Congress
Memo came with just hours left in the 115th Congress

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., walks down the House steps following the final votes as the House of Representatives leaves town for their summer recess in July. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a memo released Thursday with just hours left in the 115th Congress, the House Ethics Committee reminded departing lawmakers of criminal restrictions on certain job-hunting practices.

Outgoing members and staff have been planning their next career moves for months. The memo reminds members to “familiarize themselves with ... the criminal restrictions on post-employment communications.” It also says that members should be careful when negotiating for future employment, especially with anyone who could be “substantially affected by the Member’s performance of official duties.”

The Ethics Nightmare Before Christmas
Whatever you do, don’t eat the pizza

Toy soldier Christmas decorations stand guard in front of the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building on Dec. 6. Holiday parties on the Hill can be an ethical minefield. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

December can be a minefield for members of Congress and staff trying to celebrate, socialize and not step over the line. With the holiday season already well underway, inboxes are strewn with invitations, and booze and gifts lie in wait at every turn.

Whatever you do, don’t eat the pizza. At parties around Washington, it’s not the calories that count — it’s whether the food and drink comply with strict ethical guidelines.

Staff Testimony and Report Released In Ethics Case Against Rep. Thomas Garrett
Virginia Republican announced in May he would be leaving Congress to confront his excessive drinking

The Office of Congressional Ethics released its report on their investigation into Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Va., Wednesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Office of Congressional Ethics released its report on allegations against  Rep. Thomas Garrett Tuesday, including testimony from staffers past and present.  The House Ethics Committee announced that it is continuing its own inquiry, but has not yet impaneled an investigative subcommittee.

The House Ethics panel began the inquiry into the outgoing Virginia Republican on June 8 and received a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics on Sept. 5 and extended the inquiry in late September.

Clock Ticks Down on Sexual Harassment Proposals for Congress
#MeToo provided momentum earlier in the year, but that has stalled

Congress is running out of time to enact changes to how sexual harassment is handled in their own workplace. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is running out of time to make changes to how sexual harassment is handled in its own workplace, as negotiations between House and Senate proposals drag on and legislative days dry up.

Leaders in both chambers say they want to finish reconciling the legislation and move toward implementing change before the lame-duck session is over, but it’s unclear if that will happen.