Louisiana House delegation was on the right side in ethics vote: Editorial
Everything about the short-lived effort this week by some Republicans to weaken the House of Representatives' independent ethics office was wrong. The discussion and vote were taken during a private meeting Monday (Jan. 2) shortly before the new Congress was set to take office. The push to neuter the Office of Congressional Ethics came weeks after voters clearly had sent a message that they want accountability from government.
To their credit, Louisiana's veteran House members showed that they understand all that. Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Reps. Garrett Graves and Ralph Abraham voted against the changes to the ethics office. Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Democrat, wasn't involved in the meeting. And the state's two new Republican House members had yet to take office.
Their colleagues from other states changed their votes after a rebuke from constituents and President-elect Donald Trump. Republican House members reconvened Tuesday and reversed the Monday night vote. For now, the ethics office is intact.
The office was created in 2008 after multiple scandals involving House members, including three who were sent to prison. It conducts investigations of members and House employees who are accused of breaking rules or violating the law. The eight-member staff is overseen by an outside board, which includes former politicians and public officials.
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