Bipartisan House vote defeats bid to defund ethics office
Capping a week when Congress could agree on almost nothing else, the House of Representatives today soundly defeated an effort to cut the budget of the Office of Congressional Ethics by 40 percent.
On a bipartisan vote of 102-302, the House rejected the amendment, offered by Rep. Mel Watt, a North Carolina Democrat who was investigated last year by the office.
“Today, lawmakers stood up for ethics by rejecting Watt’s misguided amendment,” said Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, in a statement. “Now lawmakers should take the additional step of strengthening the OCE by giving it subpoena power. The only lawmakers with anything to fear from an empowered OCE are those who have done something wrong.”