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Amanda Becker

Bio:

Amanda Becker covers ethics and investigations as a staff writer at Roll Call. Prior to joining the influence team, she wrote about law and lobbying for the Washington Post’s Capital Business and the business of law at the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

A Cincinnati native, Amanda is a graduate of Indiana University and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, where she received her master’s in journalism. She currently lives in the Petworth neighborhood of the District.

Becker no longer works for Roll Call.

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Stories by Amanda Becker:

Report: Gift Taxes Apply to Some Super PAC-Linked Groups

Aug. 15, 2012

The Congressional Research Service released a report this week indicating that existing gift tax statutes can apply to contributions made to offshoots of super PACs that are spending millions of dollars to influence state and national elections.

Tom DeLay Registers to Lobby on Sex-Trafficking Issues

Aug. 14, 2012

Former Rep. Tom DeLay has officially made the jump to lobbyist. The Texas Republican in late July filed paperwork to lobby for Argus Global LLC on sex-trafficking issues, according to records tracked by the website Political MoneyLine.

Michael Grimm Failed to Disclose Privately Funded Trip

Aug. 9, 2012

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) failed to report a privately financed trip he took to Cyprus last August and also didn’t list it as a gift on the first two iterations of his annual financial disclosure form, disclosing it only after the president of the sponsoring group was arrested on federal corruption charges.

STOCK Act Tweaks Don't Delay Filing Requirements, Ethics Panel Says

Aug. 7, 2012

The House Ethics Committee today warned Members and senior staffers that changes Congress made last week to a law that requires increased disclosure of personal finances don’t affect their obligation to meet upcoming filing requirements.

Groups Object to Disclosure Rules

Aug. 3, 2012

As Congress on Thursday clarified language in a new financial disclosure law to make it apply to spousal assets, a group of high-level federal workers and four organizations representing government employees sued to block the implementation of the law, arguing it violates their right to privacy.

Committee Extends Contract for Maxine Waters Probe’s Outside Counsel

Aug. 2, 2012

The House Ethics Committee announced today that it has extended the contract of the outside counsel assisting with its investigation of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) until the end of the current Congress.

Laura Richardson Probe Complete

Aug. 1, 2012

In the early months of Rep. Laura Richardson’s 2010 re-election bid, the California Democrat’s chief of staff traveled to Los Angeles, where she informed district staffers of the extent to which they would be expected to assist with their boss’s campaign.

Ethics Panel Says Laura Richardson Likely Broke Federal Law, House Rules

Aug. 1, 2012

Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) likely broke federal law and House rules when she required her Hill staffers to perform campaign work and obstructed the House Ethics Committee’s investigation of her actions, according to a statement issued by the committee today.

Ethics Office Began Nine Probes in Second Quarter

July 26, 2012

The Office of Congressional Ethics began nine preliminary probes during the second quarter of the year, launched more in-depth reviews of five cases and referred one matter to the House Ethics Committee for further investigation, according to a report released today.

Murky Standards for Ethics Cases

July 24, 2012

Two of the House Ethics Committee’s current investigations focus on whether current Members used their office for personal financial gain.

Moving on From Contempt Vote, or Not

July 11, 2012

Despite vicious partisan sniping on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee over the panel’s investigation of the “Fast and Furious” gun-smuggling operation, it appeared recently that there was a chance to turn the page on the party warfare that culminated in the House voting to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

Watchdog Group Questions Whether Darrell Issa Broke Laws by Disclosing Wiretap Records

July 11, 2012

The government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington today asked the Justice Department and an independent ethics office to examine whether Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) broke any laws or House rules when he disclosed the contents of a sealed wiretap application in the Congressional Record.

Ethics Clears Vern Buchanan’s Financial Disclosure Lapse

July 10, 2012

The House Ethics Committee said today it has closed one of its matters related to Rep. Vern Buchanan and would take no further action against the Florida Republican for omitting information on his annual financial disclosure forms.

House Ethics Will Probe Shelley Berkley's Role in Saving Transplant Program

July 9, 2012

The House Ethics Committee said today it will investigate whether Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) broke any ethics rules or laws when she intervened to save a kidney transplant program at a hospital where her physician husband had a lucrative contract.

Ethics Panel Weighs Whether to Continue Shelley Berkley Case

July 6, 2012

The House Ethics Committee is slated to announce today whether it will investigate if Rep. Shelley Berkley’s (D-Nev.) effort to save a kidney transplant program at a Las Vegas hospital was a conflict of interest given that her husband is a nephrologist who works with the medical center.

Outsider Privy to Ethics Case

June 26, 2012

Just days before the House Ethics Committee was slated to hold a rare public trial of Rep. Maxine Waters, the committee’s then-ranking member, Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), shared an email about the status of the case with a staffer in his personal office who did not serve on the committee.

Barrasso: GOP Will Target Health Care Law in Wake of Court Ruling

June 17, 2012

If the Supreme Court strikes down part of the health care law, Congressional Republicans will try to repeal the rest of the statute and to pass a more limited alternative, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said today.

Some Least Wealthy Members Move Up

June 16, 2012

Some Members of Congress who landed in Roll Call’s “Have-Not Caucus” last year appear to have improved their lot since, chipping away at the personal loans, credit card balances and other liabilities that placed them on the poorest list during 2010.

Justice Department Won't Retry John Edwards Case

June 13, 2012

The Department of Justice said today that it will not retry its campaign finance case against one-time Democratic presidential hopeful and former Sen. John Edwards after a jury deadlocked late last month on most of the counts with which Edwards was charged.

Ethics Panel Denies Democrats' Request for Maxine Waters Case Findings

June 8, 2012

The House Ethics Committee today rejected a request from a group of House Democrats that it release the findings of the special counsel who concluded the committee had not violated the rights of Rep. Maxine Waters as it prepared its case against the California Democrat.

Education: Traveling on Whose Dime?

June 7, 2012

When Congress recessed last August, many lawmakers seized on the opportunity to return to their home states for a much-needed break. Dozens of others, however, accepted invitations to take “educational” trips to destinations all around the world — South Africa, Mongolia, Israel, Colombia, Cameroon and Japan, among other destinations — often on the dime of nonprofit organizations that are so closely affiliated with advocacy groups that the differences are all but indistinguishable.

House Democrats Demand Ethics Report on Waters Case

June 7, 2012

A group of House Democrats today sent a letter to the Ethics Committee asking it to release the findings of the special counsel who concluded the committee had not violated the rights of Rep. Maxine Waters as it prepared its case against the California Democrat.

Ethics Committee Provides Guidance on Financial Disclosure Reports

June 7, 2012

The House Ethics Committee today released guidance to House Members and employees who will be required to file periodic reports of personal financial transactions under the recently passed Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act.

House Ethics Panel Clears Self

June 6, 2012

The House Ethics Committee said Wednesday that it has cleared itself of wrongdoing during the buildup to the canceled ethics trial of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) after a nearly yearlong investigation by a specially hired outside counsel.

Ethics Committee Says Maxine Waters' Rights Not Violated

June 6, 2012

The House Ethics Committee today announced that after an outside counsel’s nearly yearlong investigation into whether its members and staffers had acted inappropriately in the months leading up to the canceled trial of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), it has unanimously concluded that her due process rights were not violated.

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