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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Watchdogs worry over ethics office future "The debate comes as a 22-member transition team meets this week to begin crafting rules for the operation of the GOP-led House. In addition to the fate of the independent office, Republicans must decide whether to keep in place a slew of ethics rules passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress in 2007. They include bans on gifts and meals from lobbyists and their employers, along with restrictions on lobbyist-funded travel by House members.

'At this point, the only people publicly calling for it to be eliminated are Democrats,' Steel said, referring to the Congressional Black Caucus' effort.

Asked about the fate of other ethics provisions, Steel said, 'Boehner has always said the American people have a right to expect the highest ethical behavior from members of Congress.'

At an August news conference, Boehner said Republicans would 'take a look' at the OCE if they gained the majority. 'There are a lot of questions that remain about how it works and how effective in fact it is,' he said."

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