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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 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:

HOHís One-Minute Recess: Desperado

Jan. 12, 2012

Rep. Alcee Hastings is pushing back against a recent memoir by a drug-trafficker-turned-government-informant that claims he sold the Florida Democrat cocaine when Hastings was a federal judge.

Alcee Hastings Admits Sexual Comments but Denies Harassment

Jan. 11, 2012

Rep. Alcee Hastings admits drinking with staffers of a commission he served on and making sexually loaded comments, but was it sexual harassment? Or is the lawsuit and related ethics inquiry into the Florida Democrat’s behavior fallout from a soured crush that became fodder for a novel?

Ethics Panel Continues to Probe Rep. Alcee Hastings

Jan. 11, 2012

The House Ethics Committee today announced that it will continue reviewing allegations that Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) sexually harassed an employee when he was chairman of the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, but it will do so without forming a formal investigative subcommittee.

Former Abramoff-Linked Lobbyist Helps Santorum in South Carolina

Jan. 6, 2012

A one-time Senate aide turned lobbyist who pleaded guilty to fraud in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal has been spearheading former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign in South Carolina in advance of the state’s pivotal Jan. 21 primary.

Ethics Committee Exonerates Don Young for Legal Fund Donations

Dec. 20, 2011

The House Ethics Committee announced today that it had unanimously concluded Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) did not violate any law, rule or regulation when his legal defense fund accepted donations from a dozen corporations owned and operated by the same group of related individuals.

Ethics Committee Confirms Extension of Waters Probe

Dec. 16, 2011

The House Ethics Committee confirmed today that it has extended its contract with the outside investigator who is examining the committee’s botched probe of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).

Reform Groups Ask IRS to Investigate Crossroads GPS

Dec. 14, 2011

Two campaign finance reform groups have again asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether nonprofits that spend millions on political campaigns are eligible for their tax-exempt status.

Court Seems Skeptical of Ex-Rep. William Jefferson’s Appeal

Dec. 9, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. — A panel of appellate judges seemed skeptical today that the conviction of former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) should be reversed on the grounds that the trial judge erroneously defined for the jury key legal terms in bribery law.

William Jefferson Appeal Could Weaken Corruption Statute

Dec. 9, 2011

A federal prosecutor warned Friday that if the conviction of former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) is reversed on appeal, it would place many fraudulent acts committed by lawmakers outside the scope of current bribery law.

Blagojevich Sentenced to 14 Years

Dec. 7, 2011

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) received a 14-year prison sentence today for his scheme to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by now-President Barack Obama.

Lobbyist Pleads Guilty to Concealing Pakistan Money

Dec. 7, 2011

A Virginia lobbyist pleaded guilty today in a conspiracy to conceal the transfer of at least $3.5 million from the government of Pakistan to a nongovernmental organization that purported to be funded by American citizens with an interest in Kashmir-American relations.

Schmidt Has Yet to Disclose, Repay Legal Fees

Dec. 6, 2011

Four months after the House Ethics Committee told Rep. Jean Schmidt to disclose and repay about $500,000 in legal expenses she unknowingly accepted from a Turkish-American interest group, the Ohio Republican has yet to amend her financial disclosures or begin repaying the debt.

Jackson Staff Aided Pursuit of Appointment to Obama Senate Seat

Dec. 2, 2011

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) used his Congressional staffers in an influence campaign to win appointment to the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama and in the process, became implicated in a pay-to-play scheme to raise money for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), according to Congressional investigators.

Experts Suggest Fixes to STOCK Act at Hearing

Dec. 2, 2011

A panel of experts suggested ways to fix proposals that aim to curb insider trading on Capitol Hill at a hearing Thursday. Still, not everyone was convinced the legislation is necessary.

Ethics Committee Extends Jesse Jackson Jr. Probe

Dec. 2, 2011

The House Ethics Committee today announced that it would continue reviewing allegations that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) offered to raise money for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) in exchange for being appointed to a vacant Senate seat but that it would do so without empaneling a formal investigative subcommittee.

Ethics May Extend Waters Case Into Next Year

Nov. 30, 2011

The House Ethics Committee on Wednesday indicated that it may need to extend the contract of the independent counsel it hired to examine the botched investigation of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), carrying the investigation into next year.

In a First, Senate Posts Disbursements Online

Nov. 29, 2011

The Senate published its semiannual account of all salaries, committee expenses and other disbursements online for the first time today.

Ethics Committee Offers ‘Insider-Trading’ Guidance

Nov. 29, 2011

The House Ethics Committee sent a memorandum to all Members and staff today that reiterates the Congressional rules barring insider trading and conflicts of interest in their personal financial transactions.

Alcee Hastings, Don Young Face Possible Ethics Inquiries

Nov. 28, 2011

The House Ethics Committee today confirmed that it is looking into possible ethics violations by Reps. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) and Don Young (R-Alaska).

Ted Stevens’ Prosecutors Will Not Face Misconduct Charges

Nov. 21, 2011

An investigation into the bungled prosecution of former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) found that while Justice Department attorneys concealed evidence that would have exonerated the late Senator, they should not be prosecuted for the “significant, widespread, and at times intentional misconduct” that derailed the government’s case, a federal judge said today.

Wall Street Hosts Visit for Hill Staffers

Nov. 18, 2011

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. sent a letter to 100 Hill staffers recently inviting them to New York City for a Nov. 7 briefing on the corporation’s role in the capital markets and related regulatory issues in Washington, D.C.

Experts: STOCK Act Not Necessarily Useful

Nov. 15, 2011

The push to increase the disclosure of lawmakers' financial investments gained steam Tuesday when Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) introduced a bill to curb the use of information gleaned from official Congressional work to make stock trading decisions.

Hensarling: Still Hope for Super Committee

Nov. 13, 2011

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said today that he hasn’t “given up hope” that the super committee in charge of restructuring the nation’s debt will meet its Nov. 23 deadline.

Study: Companies Cutting Back Political Spending

Nov. 10, 2011

More of the nation's largest companies are reining in political spending, avoiding making direct contributions to candidates, banning independent expenditures and putting oversight mechanisms in place, according to a study of corporate behavior released this week by a nonprofit group that studies corporate governance.

Richardson Probe Raises Questions of Race

Nov. 4, 2011

Rep. Laura Richardson swiftly slammed a probe announced today as a politically motivated attack by an Ethics Committee that has chosen to focus its efforts on members of the Congressional Black Caucus, setting the stage for a racially tinged ethics showdown over how the committee investigates Members.

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