What Government needs Ethics

Picture Congressman Stephen Lynch

At the federal level the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) is responsible for executive branch compliance to ethics rules. In January 2017 the Trump Administration complied with standing ethics norms by issuing an executive order committing appointees to follow ethics rules. This order mandated all appointees in any executive agency sign a binding contract that would control their behavior while in and for 5 years after leaving office (lobbying rules).

Since signing the executive order the administration has back tracked on the ethics signing requirement for appointees. Because of this over a dozen Congressional members have spoken out against this change of policy. Citing how this breaks with precedence and creates a climate of mistrust, secrecy and unaccountability. Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-Boston) said this climate would not be tolerated while introducing the “White House Ethics Transparency Act” which would mandate ethic waivers are disclosed for this and future administrations.

Upon seeing the new bill Congressional Republicans said “instead of draining the swamp we’re making the water deeper. Americans took the bait, now they’re drowning but we promise for the next election to throw a life raft”. Democrats responded we understand they’re ripping of the electorate like we did this just doesn’t feel good. In a joint press conference Democrats and Republicans sang look at our bling, our pockets are getting phatter, it feels good to sing with my bling.

More can be found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/28/executive-order-ethics-commitments-executive-branch-appointees and at https://lynch.house.gov/press-release/rep-lynch-introduces-white-house-ethics-transparency-act and at https://oge.gov/web/OGE.nsf/All%2BAdvisories/5B5DECAECCE6CB8185258110007ADC76/$FILE/PA-17-02.pdf and at https://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/2017_04_20_Letter_to_the_President_on_Ethics_Waivers_and_WH_Logs.pdf