Based on History, Slaughter Questions Republican Commitment to Ethics Reform

Record Clearly Indicates Republicans Have Fought an Ethical Congress at Every Turn

Washington, DC – Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY-28), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, questioned the commitment of the Republican Party to real ethics reform within the House and Senate. Her comments were based on a long history of Republican obstructionism regarding the issue of Congressional ethics.

“The attempts to reform the ethics process in Congress and to insist on accountability in government have been entirely Democratic,” she continued. “For over a year, starting when Rep. Chris Bell filed his initial ethics complaint in 2004, Republicans have fought and resisted any and all attempts to infuse ethics into the business of Washington and have engaged in an active campaign of cover-up and retribution.”

“What we are seeing now from prominent Republicans is nothing more than damage control masquerading as real reform,” she concluded, “but the American people won’t be fooled.”


Also Says Any Ethics Reform Package Must “Go Beyond Lobbying”

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter also renewed her call for the House Ethics Committee to immediately open investigations into the lobbying and influence-peddling scandals plaguing a wide range of Members of the House of Representatives.

“We need ethics investigations in the House and we need them now. The Ethics Committee must get to work and aggressively investigate the ethics and corruption cases engulfing the House, including all of those involving Members associated with Jack Abramoff,” Rep. Slaughter said. “The Republicans have repeatedly shredded the rules of this Congress and the American people have had enough. Kick-starting this Committee is the most important step to returning a high ethical standard to Congress.”

“If Republicans hadn’t dismantled the Ethics Committee last year then the Congress and the nation would be in a much better place now. And had the Republicans allowed the Ethics Committee to conduct a full investigation into Tom DeLay who knows what else we may have discovered?” she added.

Rep. Slaughter also stated that any ethics reform package considered by Congress must not be content to only regulate lobbying activities.

“It has long been obvious that the influence lobbyists hold over numerous Republicans must be put to a stop,” she said. “But what we need is a comprehensive ethics package, one that goes beyond lobbying, and will make ethical conduct, and an aggressive Ethics Committee, as important to the Members of this Congress as they should have always been.”