If you need a friend in Washington, get a dog, the saying goes. Well, the Office of Congressional Ethics could be headed for the pound.
Both Republicans and Democrats are unhappy with the OCE, and no matter what side of the aisle wins in November, the office will likely be neutered or forced the close its doors, the National Journal reports.If Republicans take over the House and John Boehner (R-Ohio) becomes speaker, that will “almost certainly spell doom for the OCE,” reports the publication. But even the Democrats will have trouble holding the office together. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) barely got the watchdog panel approved in 2008. Meanwhile, critics have charged that the office has “promoted itself too aggressively, failed to control media leaks and put lawmakers in a tough spot by announcing investigations without giving members details on what they did wrong,” according to the National Journal.
“I think they will be severely curtailed or they will go away next cycle, regardless of who takes the majority, because they’ve done more harm than good,” a senior GOP House aide told the publication.
However, the office has won praise from good government groups and in the media and reform advocates have pledged to defend the OCE’s existence.
“The Office of Congressional Ethics has definitely pushed the boundaries of ethics enforcement in its short three year existence,” the Sunlight Foundation’s Paul Blumenthal wrote in a blog post.
“How would you feel about an investigation into steroid use among baseball players led by the Major League Baseball Player’s Union? Perhaps they could hire Rogers Clemens as chief investigator,” he wrote.