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Amanda Becker


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 Postís 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 Californiaís Annenberg School, where she received her masterís 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:

Ethics Declines to Probe Lawmaker Arrests

March 22, 2012

The House Ethics Committee announced today that it met this week to consider the arrest of a group of lawmakers outside the Sudanese embassy last week and determined that no further investigation of the matter was needed.

Ethics Committee’s Outside Attorney Now at His Own Firm

March 20, 2012

The outside attorney brought in to pick up the House Ethics Committee’s botched investigation of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has left the law firm contracted by the committee and opened his own shop.

In Wake of Stevens Trial, Push to Reform Rules

March 17, 2012

The release of a scathing report this week detailing widespread prosecutorial misconduct that botched the corruption trial of the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has reignited calls to revisit the rules requiring government prosecutors to hand over evidence that could help exonerate criminal defendants.

Report Released on Misconduct in Ted Stevens Case

March 15, 2012

A federal court today unsealed a special report describing the widespread misconduct that derailed the prosecution and corruption conviction of the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), over the objections of some of the prosecutors who handled the case.

Ethics Delays Decisions

March 14, 2012

Just four years after Congress created an outside office to speed up House ethics proceedings, the House Ethics Committee has begun using a pre-existing rule to extend its review of cases past the deadline set by those who developed the guidelines on how the two bodies should work in tandem.

Rep. Jean Schmidt’s Defeat Serves as Warning

March 7, 2012

Ohio Rep. Jean Schmidt’s unexpected primary loss serves as a warning for many Members seeking re-election on new turf after redistricting or facing even the smallest political challenge. More importantly, Schmidt’s loss signals a still-unsettled electorate looking for a reason to boot an incumbent from office.

Heritage Foundation Illustrates Travel Restriction Loopholes

March 2, 2012

Despite amended ethics rules, Members of Congress and their staffers continue to take trips sponsored by groups that don’t lobby themselves but maintain formal affiliations with lobbyists and advocacy organizations and do so with the blessing of the House Ethics Committee.

Bachus Starts Account to Pay for Ethics Fight

Feb. 17, 2012

Rep. Spencer Bachus established a trust account earlier this week to pay for his legal fees, indicating that the Alabama Republican is preparing for what could be a protracted ethics probe.

Six Ethics Panel Members Recuse Themselves From Waters Probe

Feb. 17, 2012

The House Ethics Committee announced today that six committee members have voluntary recused themselves from the matter involving Rep. Maxine Waters and that six alternates have been appointed to hear the California Democrat’s case.

Legal Fees Show Who Is Spending on Defense

Feb. 14, 2012

The campaign accounts of Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) paid tens of thousands of dollars when the lawmakers were investigated and cleared by the Office of Congressional Ethics last year.

Loopholes Allowed for Long Vegas Vacation

Feb. 13, 2012

In recent years, lawmakers and staffers invited to the Consumer Electronics Show were largely forced to limit their Las Vegas fun to one day. But thanks to loopholes, about a dozen Members and staffers converted this year’s convention into a four-day junket.

Bachus May Not Be Alone in Ethics Probe

Feb. 10, 2012

Just hours after the House passed its version of a bill intended to curb Congressional insider trading, Rep. Spencer Bachus’ office confirmed reports late Thursday that the Office of Congressional Ethics has launched an inquiry into whether the Alabama Republican violated existing insider-trading laws and House rules.

STOCK Act’s Pace Worries Experts

Feb. 8, 2012

Differences between the Senate and House versions of legislation banning insider trading by Members and staff have experts worried about what provisions will make the final cut as the two chambers rush to pass the bill and claim the ethical high ground.

House Ethics Panel Continues Investigation of Buchanan Disclosures

Feb. 6, 2012

The House Ethics Committee announced today that while it will continue investigating whether Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) failed to report positions and income from outside organizations on his annual financial disclosure reports, it will do so without forming a formal investigative subcommittee.

Ethics Committees Release Annual Reports

Feb. 2, 2012

The House and Senate Ethics committees released an accounting of their 2011 activities this week, detailing the number of matters reviewed and the actions taken thus far during the 112th Congress.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Campaign Money Helped Fund Trip

Jan. 31, 2012

Travel expenses detailed in a recent campaign finance report filed by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s (D-Ill.) re-election committee demonstrate the overlapping rules that cover privately financed but officially connected Congressional travel.

Cummings Blasts Issa Over Countrywide VIPs

Jan. 25, 2012

The top Democrat on the House panel investigating whether the failed mortgage giant Countrywide gave lawmakers preferential treatment blasted committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) today for trying to keep their names quiet.

OCE Stayed Busy in Late 2011

Jan. 24, 2012

The Office of Congressional Ethics lost no steam at the end of last year, reviewing four new matters during the fourth quarter of 2011. In prior years the number of cases opened during the same period had dwindled.

Romney’s Returns Show 14 Percent Tax Rate

Jan. 24, 2012

Mitt Romney this morning released his personal tax returns, revealing an income of $21.6 million in 2010 and $20.9 million in 2011, nearly all stemming from the his vast portfolio of investments.

No Slow Start for Ethics Committee This Year

Jan. 19, 2012

With two formal probes under way, an outside attorney looking at whether the committee botched its investigation of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and three ongoing examinations of Members who have been neither cleared nor sanctioned, the House Ethics Committee is poised to begin 2012 with a bigger bang than it did the year before.

Mortgage Probe Ensnares GOP

Jan. 17, 2012

When Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) started his investigation into a controversial "VIP" mortgage program, he struck partisan gold by tying two powerful Senate Democratic chairmen to mortgage giant Countrywide's alleged attempts to give preferential treatment to influential policymakers.

Darrell Issa Vows to Continue Countrywide Probe

Jan. 17, 2012

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa said today he will continue pursuing an investigation involving lawmakers tied to a controversial mortgage program run by the now-defunct mortgage giant Countrywide Financial Corp.

Members of Congress Travel Far on Private Groups' Dime

Jan. 17, 2012

Private groups spent almost $6 million to send Members of Congress and staff on trips last year, more than in any year since Congress tightened its restrictions on outside groups paying for travel in 2007.

Cummings Asks Whether Issa Will Push Probe of GOP Mortgages

Jan. 17, 2012

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) today sent a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asking how he plans to proceed with his investigation of lawmakers tied to a controversial mortgage program after reports surfaced over the weekend that the previously unidentified Members of Congress involved in the case are Republicans, including the chairman of an influential committee.

Heard on the Hill: A Ros-Lehtinen Family Reunion

Jan. 15, 2012

Traveling as part of a Congressional delegation isn’t all fun and games. Sometimes it involves catching up with relatives.

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