Leaders Name Members of Ethics Task Force

Posted January 31, 2007 at 4:15pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced the membership of the bipartisan ethics task force today, which is charged with examining whether the House should establish an independent investigative body to enforce the chamber’s ethics rules. The task force has been asked to report its recommendations back to leadership by May 1.

The Democratic members of the task force will be Reps. Mike Capuano (Mass.), Marty Meehan (Mass.), Bobby Scott (Va.) and Betty McCollum (Minn.). The Republican members are Reps. Lamar Smith (Texas), David Hobson (Ohio), Todd Tiahrt (Kan.) and Dave Camp (Mich.)

Outside advocacy groups have long supported an independent, outside ethics panel, but many Members, including Boehner, have been suspect of such reforms, arguing that the House has a constitutional duty to govern itself.

“In the first days of 110th Congress, a bipartisan majority passed landmark reforms to restore accountability, honesty, and openness to the House of Representatives,” Pelosi said in a statement. “We broke the link between lobbyist and legislators and set our country back on a path to fiscal discipline. These strong rules are significant steps toward honest leadership; enforcing these rules is critical to ensuring every Member of Congress lives up to the highest ethical standard.”

— Susan Davis