The Ethics Blind Spot

A detailed accounting of how the House and Senate ethics committees fail to foster a culture of high ethical standards in Congress


In “The Ethics Blind Spot,” Issue One analyzes and contrasts the case histories of the two ethics oversight bodies in the U.S. House of Representatives—the House Ethics Committee and the Office of Congressional Ethics—and provides much-needed context to the modern ethical culture on Capitol Hill.

The question is simple: Does the current ethics oversight process in the House and Senate foster a culture of high moral and ethical standards? Currently, the answer is no—the committees’ tepid interpretations of ethics rules and timid approach to enforcement undermines public confidence in the integrity of one of the key institutions of our democratic republic.

The report also outlines solutions to fix lax ethical oversight in both the House and Senate.


Congress needs to act immediately to provide states with the emergency federal funding they need to run safe, secure and credible elections in November. The previous federal funding was an important down payment, but reports from state and local election officials indicate substantially more federal emergency assistance is needed as soon as possible. Issue One and many others are working to convince Senators to vote in July for more funding so that our November elections are safe, secure, and fair.