House votes to reinstate Ethics Office

The co-chairmen of the OCE, Porter Goss and David Skaggs, are expected to continue on in this Congress.

The OCE was created in 2008 at the prodding of Pelosi, then House Speaker, who had led a successful campaign to retake control of the chamber in part by pledging to “drain the swamp” of corruption on Capitol Hill.

ADVERTISEMENT
But over the years, the OCE has become a source of irritation for some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, who complain that the board, which does not have subpoena power, is too aggressive and unfairly tarnishes the reputation of innocent lawmakers.

When Boehner became Speaker in 2010, rumors swirled that Republicans might attempt to gut or eliminate the OCE. But the board remained intact, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) vowed to implement a “zero-tolerance” policy when it came to ethics violations.

Since then, members of both parties have faced ethics troubles, many of which have been investigated by the OCE.