Congress

Here’s why modernizing the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) should be on top of the congressional to-do list

In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal involving President Richard Nixon, Congress established the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) in 1978 to provide oversight of the executive branch and prevent — and resolve — conflicts of interest. The agency was eventually made independent in 1989 and currently oversees ethics standards for 2.7 million civilian employees in more than 130 executive agencies and the

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Issue One’s Letter to the House Ethics Committee on its first public meeting

Issue One sent a letter to House Ethics Committee Chairwoman Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Ranking Member Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) calling on the committee to review current ethics rules and announce the schedule for open hearings related to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).  The Ethics Committee’s first public meeting of the 115th Congress on Wednesday, March 22, lasted

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15 years since bipartisan law passed tackling money in politics. Here’s what has changed since then

Fifteen years ago today, Republican President George W. Bush signed into law the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, which tackled some of the most egregious campaign finance problems of the day. Most notably, the law prohibited political parties from raising unlimited donations from individuals, corporations and unions, so-called “soft money” contributions. The measure, also known as McCain-Feingold after its

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Here’s how President Trump’s Speech Should Have Addressed Draining the Swamp

In his joint address to Congress last night, President Trump laid out a broad agenda, from jobs and health care, to taxes and national security, for change in Washington. However, it failed to address the real culprit behind gridlock in Washington: the undue influence moneyed interests have on decision-making by elected and appointed officials. While the executive order on ethics

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115th Congress ReFormers Caucus Lunch

With the 115th Congress in full swing, a bipartisan group of Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus hosted a lunch to discuss how they could be most effective in promoting and advocating for issues critical to democracy in the coming months. Conservative Republican Representative Ken Buck, who represents eastern Colorado and just started his second term in Congress after being his freshman

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Things to Watch Out For: Weakening the Office of Congressional Ethics

You probably remember that the Monday before the 115th Congress was sworn in, in the dead of the night on a holiday, House Republicans tried (and failed) to pass rules to weaken the independent ethics office meant to police members of Congress. Last month, however, Meredith McGehee, Issue One’s Chief of Policy, Programs and Strategy, highlighted one little-noticed rule that

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Bipartisan Bills Bring Senate Disclosure into 21st Century

Late last week, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced two campaign finance-related bills: the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act (e-file bill) and the Sunlight for Unaccountable Non-profits (SUN) Act. Both were also introduced previously in the 114th Congress. The bipartisan, widely popular e-file bill saves money by requiring U.S. Senate candidates to file their campaign finance reports electronically, rather than on

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