New House GOP plan could 'effectively gut' Office of Congressional Ethics
Kevin McCarthy.

With Republicans set to take over the House of Representatives on Tuesday, it seems that one of their first priorities will be to strike a blow against the Office of Congressional Ethics.

As flagged by Politico congressional reporter Nicholas Wu, a proposed rule change to the committee would institute term limits that would boot off most of the Democratic-appointed board members.

For good measure, the rule change would also make it harder for the committee to hire staff.

"This could have big implications for ethics cases that could come before OCE at the beginning of the new Congress -- like an investigation into Republican members related to Jan. 6, or Rep-elect George Santos," noted Wu.

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NPR congressional correspondent Deirdre Walsh went even further than Wu in her analysis of the rule change and argued that it would "effectively gut" the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Lisa Gilbert, the executive vice president of the transparency advocacy group Public Citizen, chimed in on Twitter to outline the importance of the OCE in putting the brakes on corruption.

"OCE is a bipartisan ethics office that helps monitor and report on ethics issues involving members of Congress," she wrote. "It has a proven track record of enhancing transparency and enforcement of ethics rules and has gained widespread support among the American public. It has been reauthorized every Congress since its inception in 2008. We ask each and every Member commit to encouraging the smooth reauthorization of OCE once again in the next Congress."