Democrats looking to gut House ethics rules
Well, well. The party that took control in 2006 claiming they would have the "most ethical Congress ever" has decided that this ethics stuff is fine, if you don't take it too seriously that is.
The effort to "re-loosen" the rules is being led by the Congressional Black Caucus, although some members of both parties seem to be sympathetic.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have led the charge, airing complaints about the aggressive, independent panel in a private session with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month, and they’ve drafted a resolution that, if approved, would severely curtail the panel’s power.
But there’s hot competition between the CBC and the official House ethics committee over who has less regard for the Office of Congressional Ethics, also known as the OCE. And the rest of the House doesn’t appear to be far behind in its disdain. Privately, Democratic and Republican lawmakers, and even some congressional leaders, acknowledge that there’s a strong sentiment to change rules that empower the office to publicize investigations and wreak havoc on lawmakers’ political lives. ...
The problem with making a move like this now of course is that they're all running for re-election..and voting to weaken ethics rules while you're running for public office isn't necessarily the best campaign strategery. The Black Caucus' resolution has been signed on to by 19 members so far...all members of the CBC who come from districts that are pretty much never at risk in the fall.
But all House members aren't so lucky. Solution? Wait and do it in January when you officially adopt the rules for the next Congress...and you don't have to worry about getting re-elected for another year and a half or so.
Prediction: If the Dems keep control, the office is history. If the GOP wins, they'll get public pressure from the Dems to keep it intact.