WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a major step backwards for Congressional accountability, the MAGA-led U.S. House just approved a rules package that includes a measure that effectively kicks out most existing Democratic-appointed board members of the bipartisan Office of Congressional Ethics and erects onerous new barriers for hiring new staff. Government watchdog Accountable.US called the move a brazen effort by the MAGA House majority to shield its members from accountability for ethics violations – a move that can only be assumed to be in anticipation of more problematic behavior from its members including embattled Rep.-elect George Santos.
It’s telling that the very first action of the incoming MAGA Republican-led House was to kneecap a bipartisan office that oversees Congressional ethics. Make no mistake: This is about protecting their ethically-challenged Members like fraudster George Santos or Jan 6 subpoena-defying Jim Jordan from accountability – or perhaps in anticipation of a new wave of corruption allegations and ethics violations from other MAGA extremists. There’s no good reason to make it easier for members to get away with ethics violations, which only invites problematic behavior. It sends a clear message that the MAGA House is more interested in sweeping any corruption amongst their ranks under the rug and performing political stunts against the Biden administration than they are doing anything constructive.”
Kyle Herrig, President of Accountable.US
Last month, Accountable.US filed an ethics complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics requesting an investigation into Representative-elect George Santos for his repeated lies, misrepresentations, and the numerous red flags surrounding his finances. Since then, Santos has fallen under legal scrutiny over massive loans to his campaign committee and faces an investigation from the Nassau County, New York District Attorney, a Republican.