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.


Read “Why We Left Congress: How the Legislative Branch Is Broken and What We Can Do About It”

Issue One’s new joint report with the R Street Institute examines the legislative branch’s dysfunction through conversations with members who have voluntarily departed in the 2018 cycle. Read the full report and proposed solutions in “Why We Left Congress: How the Legislative Branch is Broken and What We Can Do About Ithere.