Patrick Meehan

Where are the members of the 115th Congress that left under scandal?
Only two scandal-tarred lawmakers from last Congress are still serving

Montana Republican Ryan Zinke, who was Interior secretary until last December, is now a managing director at cybersecurity and blockchain company Artillery One. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the #MeToo movement took hold in the past two years, nine members of the 115th Congress relinquished their seats amid allegations of sexual misconduct. That’s more than any Congress since at least 1901, based on an analysis of congressional departures by FiveThirtyEight.

Two other lawmakers left under scrutiny for financial or ethical improprieties, two who joined the Trump administration were later forced to resign their Cabinet posts, and two representatives indicted last year are still in office fighting the charges.

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s affairs with congressional staff raise sexual harassment concerns
California Republican denies groping another staffer at a 2014 event

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., allegedly entered into affairs with two congressional staffers, according to a court filing by the Department of Justice. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Party leaders have demurred on whether Rep. Duncan Hunter should resign in light of revelations that he pursued relationships with two congressional staffers, including one of his own aides.

But that does not mean allegations that the California Republican had “intimate relationships” — as U.S. attorneys described them in a recent court filing — with two staffers, including a direct subordinate, will not trigger consequences on Capitol Hill.

Florida’s Ted Deutch to lead House Ethics Committee
Panel has taken on high-profile investigations of members in recent years

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., will lead the House Ethics panel in the 116th Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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. 

McCarthy Names Top Republicans for House Ethics and Rules Committees
House GOP adjusting leadership ranks to life in the minority

Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Texas, will be the ranking member on the House Ethics Committee (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy selected the top Republicans for the House Ethics and House Rules Committees in the new congress, which begins January 3.

Texan Kenny Marchant will be the ranking member on the House Ethics Committee, replacing Indiana’s Susan W. Brooks who had served on the panel for three terms. House rules bar members from sitting on the House Ethics panel for more than three congresses, unless the member leads the panel in their fourth term.

Steny Hoyer's Election Night Watch List
Minority whip has a dozen races he says he will focus on for early hints

Steny Hoyer will be watching 12 races on election night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Steny H. Hoyer has high hopes that Democrats will take back control of the House in November and he’s trekked to 94 districts in 22 states and campaigned for 75 candidates and 37 incumbents this cycle to try and make it happen. And of those races, on Nov. 6th, there are 12 races he says he’ll be watching.

The House minority whip called five East Coast races in particular “bellwethers.” The returns will be in relatively early and they are just a few of the seats that Democrats are trying to snag from Republican control:

5 States That Will Decide the House Majority
Watch these states to tell if Democrats are having a good election night

California Democrat Harley Rouda, here with a supporter at a rally in Laguna Beach in May, is challenging GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in the 48th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With a growing number of vulnerable House districts, there might be too much to watch for on election night. But by focusing on just a handful of states, you can get a pretty good idea of whether Democrats are having a good enough night to gain the 23 seats necessary to win back the majority.

Competitive races: 5

Speaker Ryan Strips Chris Collins of Committee Membership
Leadership move is not uncommon against scandal-plagued members

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., who was indicted Monday on securities fraud charges, attends a House Energy and Commerce Committee markup in Rayburn Building on June 28, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has removed Rep. Chris Collins from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, following Collins indictment Wednesday on charges of insider trading and lying to authorities.

“Insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust. Until this matter is settled, Rep. Collins will no longer be serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” Ryan said in a statement.

Office of Congressional Ethics Sees Huge Uptick in Citizen Outreach
More than 8,000 private citizens contact office for information or requests

An investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, was halted when he resigned in April. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Office of Congressional Ethics saw a considerable uptick in citizen outreach in the second quarter of 2018. At the same time, three referrals were sent to the House Ethics Committee for action.

Over 8,300 private citizens contacted the Office of Congressional Ethics during the second quarter, up from 580 in the first quarter of 2018, according to the OCE’s most recent quarterly report. In the last year, citizen contacts had previously topped out at 1,450 per quarter. The contacts fall into two categories: Allegations of misconduct and requests for information about the OCE.

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Lobbying Groups Join Fight Against Sexual Harassment
‘We just have not had anyone come out and report it just yet, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t or isn’t happening.’

K Street sign at 15th and K Streets in Washington, D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Major advocacy and government affairs groups are joining the fight against workplace sexual harassment in Washington.

Groups announced Wednesday the formation of a task force to develop a plan to protect professionals from harassment, with the goal of creating guidelines, standards and programs to support harassment victims.