Creation of Enforcement Mechanisms Key to Democrats Reform Plans:


Two options emerge in ethics reform packages presented by House and Senate Democrats to enforce lobbying and ethics laws and regulations on lobbyists, according to the Wall Street Journal. One option presented by Sen. Barak Obama (D-IL) would create “a nine-member Congressional Ethics Enforcement Commission, made up of outsiders but appointed by House and Senate leaders.” The Commission would have subpoena power and the authority to investigate but the decision on discipline would remain in the hands of the Ethics Committees. The second option would create an Office of Public Integrity to “audit files,” “assist the ethics committees in enforcing rules,” and “initiate inquiries and serve as a prosecutor in cases brought to the ethics committees, which would be the judges.” Republican leaders John Boehner (R-OH) and David Drier (R-CA) oppose outsiders controlling ethics processes in Congress.