Bipartisan bill would require mandatory ethics training for lawmakers

Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Scott Rigell (R-Va.) have introduced legislation that would require all members of the House and Senate to take ethics training.

Congress passed a law in 2007 that required mandatory ethics training for all senators and their staffs, as well as House staffers, every year. It did not apply to House members, however.

ADVERTISEMENT
Cicilline said requiring lawmakers in both chambers of Congress to undergo ethics training would help boost the public's perception of the institution.

"Members of Congress should not be exempt from ethics training and enacting this requirement will help restore the public's confidence in Congress," Cicilline said in a statement. 

Rigell said that lawmakers should at a minimum receive the same ethics training as Capitol Hill staffers.

"As a starting point, members of Congress must be held accountable to the same ethical training standards required of their staff," Rigell said.

The training includes a review of campaign finance laws, the prohibition on accepting gifts from lobbyists, rules for member travel, avoiding conflicts of interest and annual financial disclosures.

Under the bill, ethics training would have to be completed within 60 days after starting service in each new session of Congress.