Changes Coming to Conflicts of Interest Standards in Congress
By Elliot S. Berke and William J. Farah
The House Ethics Committee is having a busy holiday season, following up on what was a busy overall year for the congressional ethics panel. Late Thursday, the Committee issued a series of press releases and reports to close out this Congress. The Committee’s investigative reports always contain conclusions of interest and sometimes set new precedents (which do not always get fully digested by the House community at large). Most interesting with this round of reports, however, was the Committee’s promise to revisit the House’s current conflicts of interest standards in light of its investigations over the past Congress. As the Committee stated:
The Committee…believes the time has come to engage in comprehensive review of the House’s conflicts standards so that they are clearer and more easily digested by the House community.
Based on the statement, it will be more important than even during future congresses for any entity that interacts with the Members of Congress and for congressional offices to establish protocols to avoid even the perception of a conflict of interest. More on the Committee’s findings and conclusions can be found at ethics.house.gov. Happy Holidays!