Florida’s Ted Deutch will be the new chairman of the House Ethics Committee, which has taken on high-profile investigations of members in recent years.
“House Democrats are thrilled to welcome Congressman Ted Deutch as Chair of the Ethics Committee, where his towering integrity and firm commitment to fairness and justice will be invaluable to our mission to restore transparency, ethics and accountability to the Congress,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday. As leader of her party, Pelosi appoints the chair of the Ethics panel, along with other committees such as House Administration and Rules.
Deutch has been the top Democrat on Ethics, and with his party taking control of the chamber, he’ll take the gavel for the 116th Congress.
“With Congressman Deutch at the helm, the Ethics Committee will spearhead our work to return dignity and accountability to the Congress, and ensure our elected officials are held to the highest ethical standards,” Pelosi said. “Together, we will restore the people’s faith that government works for the public interest instead of the special interests, ensuring that all Members of Congress faithfully honor the people’s sacred trust.”
The 10-member House Ethics Committee is the only House standing committee that is evenly divided between the parties.
Texas Rep. Kenny Marchant will be the top Republican on the panel, replacing Indiana’s Susan W. Brooks, who had served on the committee for three terms. House rules bar members from sitting on the Ethics panel for more than three Congresses, unless the member leads the panel in his or her fourth term.
Marchant ended the previous Congress as the No. 2 Republican member on the committee, but only after Pennsylvania’s Patrick Meehan resigned from the House in April to end the Ethics panel’s investigation into allegations he sexually harassed a former staffer. The inquiry was halted after he left the chamber.
Watch: Pelosi, Lewis and House Democrats unveil legislative agenda for 116th