Nearly half of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus have agreed to try to reduce the power of an independent ethics office that Democrats pushed for after gaining control of Congress. Rep. Marcia Fudge, an Ohio Democrat, has worked with 19 other members of the CBC to reduce the amount of power held by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) to open investigations and publicize its findings. The office is run by a panel of private citizens.
The move is not supported by all 42 members of the caucus, including House Whip James Clyburn. This implies to some that the resolution is likely not going to be of significance.
Since the ethics office was created, it has opened investigations on eight members of the CBC, including Charlie Rangel, a prominent New York Democrat. Five others were investigated over trips to the Caribbean that were privately funded. Many of those being subjected to the investigation are co-sponsors of the resolution.
In a statement, Fudge argued that the office is too powerful and that the changes would prevent “trials in the court of public opinion.”