Roll Call Quotes Bryson Morgan: Crisis Averted but Future Is Still Unclear for House Watchdog
House Republicans might have ditched a plan to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. But the future of Congress’ only outside ethics review board is far from guaranteed.
The Office of Congressional Ethics, or OCE, has been under fire from both parties since it was created eight years ago. Now the House GOP majority is promising to revisit a potential overhaul before the end of this session, possibly as early as August.
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Both sides said there are some revisions they could agree on.
“There are legitimate areas of reform that should be pursued,” said Bryson B. Morgan, a lawyer with Caplin & Drysdale and former investigative counsel with the OCE.
Observers on both sides agreed that the House should clarify and simplify its ethics rules. They also said many complaints about the process would be resolved if the office had more time to conduct investigations.
The OCE must finish a preliminary review in 30 days, and has 45 days after that to find substantial reason for a violation to have occurred or drop the case. In some cases, it can take another 14 days.
“It’s not enough time,” Morgan said. “It’s an unnecessary strain on everyone involved.”
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Excerpt taken From the article “Crisis Averted but Future Is Still Unclear for House Watchdog” by Stephanie Akin for Roll Call.