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Jennifer Yachnin


Jennifer Yachnin writes about the Congressional ethics process. Her previous beats at Roll Call include coverage of House leadership, the Capitol Police and campus issues, and the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Yachnin no longer works at Roll Call.

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Stories by Jennifer Yachnin:

Watchdogs Say Members Sleeping in Offices Violate Tax Rules

Feb. 10, 2011

A government watchdog group called for an investigation Thursday of House lawmakers who bunk nightly in their Congressional offices, asserting the Members are violating House rules and tax laws.

Former Members Get Millions From Pensions

Feb. 8, 2011

Taxpayers are likely to foot the bill for at least $26 million in pensions for former Members of Congress this year, even as Congress embraces austerity by curbing its annual pay raises and voting to slash office budgets.

Ensign Inquiry May Pick Up Speed

Feb. 1, 2011

The Senate Ethics Committee on Tuesday hired a special counsel for its investigation of Sen. John Ensign, but individuals on and off Capitol Hill cautioned the decision is not necessarily an indication of a more serious inquiry.

Ensign Believes He Followed Rules, Will Cooperate With Probe

Feb. 1, 2011

An attorney for Sen. John Ensign (R) said Tuesday that the Senate Ethics Committee’s decision to hire a special counsel to lead its investigation of the Nevada lawmaker “does not change the course of its inquiry,” and said Ensign will continue to cooperate with the panel.

Senate Ethics Panel Hires Counsel to Probe Ensign

Feb. 1, 2011

The Senate Ethics Committee has appointed a special counsel to review allegations against Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign, the panel announced Tuesday.

Senate Ethics Panel Dismissed Bulk of Its Cases in 2010

Jan. 31, 2011

The Senate Ethics Committee reviewed 93 instances of alleged wrongdoing in 2010 but ultimately dismissed all but four cases without any public action, according to an annual report released Monday.

Ethics Office Opened No New Cases in Last Half of 2010

Jan. 31, 2011

The Office of Congressional Ethics did not open a single new investigation in the last half of 2010, according to a report the office released Monday.

Report: Ethics Investigating Meeks’ Finances

Jan. 31, 2011

The House Ethics Committee is investigating whether Rep. Gregory Meeks repeatedly omitted information from his financial disclosure forms, the New York Post reported Sunday.

Ethics Sets No ‘Bright Lines’ for Fundraising

Jan. 28, 2011

The House Ethics Committee said last week that it knows a rules violation when it sees one, but it can’t specify what one looks like.

Office of Congressional Ethics Names Staff Director

Jan. 27, 2011

The Office of Congressional Ethics on Thursday named Omar Ashmawy as its new staff director and chief counsel.

Final Abramoff-Related Trial Kicks Off

Jan. 26, 2011

What’s expected to be the last trial related to the federal government’s long-running probe of disgraced ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff got under way Wednesday. But there was no mention of Abramoff.

Ethics Committee Ends Member Fundraising Inquiry

Jan. 26, 2011

The House Ethics Committee declined Wednesday to pursue allegations that three lawmakers’ fundraising events may have violated the chamber’s rules, and at the same time it rejected the Office of Congressional Ethics’ suggestion that the fundraising created the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Crowley, Price, Campbell Cleared by Ethics Panel

Jan. 26, 2011

The House Ethics Committee announced Wednesday that it will not pursue allegations that Reps. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), Tom Price (R-Ga.) and John Campbell (R-Calif.) violated House rules in connection with their fundraising efforts in advance of the 2009 financial reform vote.

Sánchez, Once Ethics Subject, Now Panel Member

Jan. 25, 2011

Democratic leaders on Tuesday tapped Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) for the party’s top seat on the House Ethics Committee, putting her at the helm of the same panel that investigated her in the previous Congress.

Lofgren Quits Ethics Committee

Jan. 25, 2011

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) has vacated the top Democratic seat on the House Ethics Committee less than three weeks after she returned to the panel for the 112th Congress, Democratic sources confirmed Tuesday.

Linda Sánchez Takes Lofgren’s Ethics Spot

Jan. 25, 2011

Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) will take the top Democratic seat on the House Ethics Committee in the 112th Congress, her office confirmed Tuesday.

Report Finds Bush Officials Likely Violated Hatch Act

Jan. 24, 2011

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel found that George W. Bush administration officials likely violated the federal Hatch Act during the 2006 election cycle, according to a report the office issued Monday.

New Members Are Among Richest in Congress

Jan. 24, 2011

More than one-third of the freshman lawmakers in the 112th Congress are millionaires, and as many as 15 are likely to rank among the richest Members of Congress this year, according to a Roll Call analysis of financial disclosure records.

Ethics Watchdog Sloan Decides Not to Leave

Jan. 21, 2011

Melanie Sloan has decided to remain at the helm of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, reversing her earlier decision to join Clinton administration lawyer Lanny Davis in a private law firm.

Ensign Spent $97K on Attorneys Last Quarter

Jan. 20, 2011

Sen. John Ensign doled out more than $97,000 from his legal defense fund for attorneys in the final months of 2010, according to his most recent report to the Secretary of the Senate.

Ethics Office Members Reappointed in Time for Meeting

Jan. 19, 2011

House leaders reappointed the Office of Congressional Ethics’ eight-member board Wednesday night, allowing the quasi-independent office to approve new investigations at its scheduled meeting Friday.

Pelosi Plans to Reappoint Ethics Office Democrats

Jan. 19, 2011

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) plans to reappoint all the Democratic board members of the Office of Congressional Ethics, a source confirmed Wednesday. The quasi-independent House office could still find itself temporarily hobbled, however, if bipartisan House leaders do not reappoint the panel in the near future.

House Ethics Office May Not Be Able to Launch Probes

Jan. 19, 2011

The Office of Congressional Ethics as soon as Friday might find itself unable to take up full-scale investigations because House leaders have yet to reappoint the body’s eight-member board for the 112th Congress.

Ethics Panel Probed 111 Cases in Last Congress

Jan. 10, 2011

The House Ethics Committee more than quintupled its investigations in the 111th Congress compared with the prior Congress — conducting 111 inquiries in 2009 and 2010 — but punished only one House lawmaker for violating the chamber’s rules.

DeLay Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

Jan. 10, 2011

A Texas judge sentenced former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) to a three-year prison term Monday for his role in a scheme that violated the state’s campaign finance laws and funneled corporate funds to candidates in 2002, the Associated Press reported.

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