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ESTABLISHING AN OFFICE OF CONGRESSIONAL ETHICS--Continued

a speech in Congress by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), on

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Full Text Below, adapted from the Congressional Record.

By the adoption of House Resolution 1031, House Resolution 895, as amended, stands adopted.

The text of House Resolution 895, as amended, is as follows:

Resolved,

(a) Establishment.--For the purpose of assisting the House in carrying out its responsibilities under article I, section 5, clause 2 of the Constitution (commonly referred to as the ``Discipline Clause''), there is established in the House an independent office to be known as the Office of Congressional Ethics (hereinafter in this section referred to as the ``Office''). (b) Board.--(1) The Office shall be governed by a board consisting of six individuals of whom three shall be nominated by the Speaker subject to the concurrence of the minority leader and three shall be nominated by the minority leader subject to the concurrence of the Speaker. The Speaker shall nominate at least one alternate board member subject to the concurrence of the minority leader and the minority leader shall nominate at least one alternate board member subject to the concurrence of the Speaker. If any vacancy occurs in the board, then the most senior alternate board member nominated by the same individual who nominated the member who left the board shall serve on the board until a permanent replacement is selected. If a permanent appointment is not made within 90 days, the alternate member shall be deemed to have been appointed for the remainder of the term of the member who left the board and the Speaker or the minority leader, as applicable, shall nominate a new alternate subject to the concurrence of the other leader. (2) The Speaker and the minority leader each shall appoint individuals of exceptional public standing who are specifically qualified to serve on the board by virtue of their education, training, or experience in one or more of the following fields: legislative, judicial, regulatory, professional ethics, business, legal, and academic. (3) The Speaker shall designate one member of the board as chairman. The minority leader shall designate one member of the board as cochairman. The cochairman shall act as chairman in the absence of the chairman. (4)(A) Selection and appointment of members of the board shall be without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of fitness to perform their duties. (B)(i) No individual shall be eligible for appointment to, or service on, the board who-- (I) is a lobbyist registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995; (II) has been so registered at any time during the year before the date of appointment; (III) engages in, or is otherwise employed in, lobbying of the Congress; (IV) is an agent of a foreign principal registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act; (V) is a Member; or (VI) is an officer or employee of the Federal Government. (ii) No individual who has been a Member, officer, employee of the House may be appointed to the board sooner than one year after ceasing to be a Member, officer, or employee of the House. (5) A vacancy on the board shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term, utilizing the process set forth in paragraph (1). (6)(A) Except as provided by subparagraph (B), terms on the board shall be for two Congresses. A member of the board may not serve during more than four consecutive Congresses. (B) Of the individuals appointed in the 110th Congress to serve on the board, 4 shall be designated at the time of appointment to serve only for the remainder of that Congress. Any such individual may be reappointed for an additional term of two Congresses. (C) Any member of the board may be removed from office for cause by the Speaker and the minority leader, acting jointly, but not by either, acting alone. (7) A member of the board shall not be considered to be an officer or employee of the House, but shall receive a per diem equal to the daily equivalent of the minimum rate of basic pay payable for GS-15 of the General Schedule for each day (including travel time) during which such member is engaged in the performance of the duties of the board. (8) A majority of the members of the board shall constitute a quorum. (9) The board shall meet at the call of the chairman or a majority of its members pursuant to its rules. (c) Powers.--The board is authorized and directed to: (1)(A) Within 7 calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays) after receipt of a joint written request from 2 members of the board (one of whom was nominated by the Speaker and one by the minority leader) to all board members to undertake a preliminary review of any alleged violation by a Member, officer, or employee of the House of any law, rule, regulation, or other standard of conduct applicable to the conduct of such Member, officer, or employee in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities, along with a brief description of the specific matter, initiate a preliminary review and notify in writing-- (i) the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct of that preliminary review and provide a statement of the nature of the review; and (ii) any individual who is the subject of the preliminary review and provide such individual with a statement of the nature of the review. (B) Within 30 calendar days or 5 legislative days, whichever is later, after receipt of a request under subparagraph (A), complete a preliminary review. (C) Before the end of the applicable time period, vote on whether to commence a second-phase review of the matter under consideration. An affirmative vote of at least 3 members of the board is required to commence a second-phase review. If no such vote to commence a second-phase review has succeeded by the end of the applicable time period, the matter is terminated. At any point before the end of the applicable time period, the board may vote to terminate a preliminary review by the affirmative vote of not less than 4 members. The board shall notify, in writing, the individual who was the subject of the preliminary review and the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct of its decision to either terminate the preliminary review or commence a second-phase review of the matter. If the board votes to terminate the preliminary review, then it may send a report and any findings to such committee. (2)(A)(i) Except as provided by item (ii), complete a second-phase review within 45 calendar days or 5 legislative days, whichever is later, after the board commences such review. (ii) Extend the period described in subparagraph (A) for one additional period of 14 calendar days upon the affirmative vote of a majority of its members, a quorum being present. (B) Transmit to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct a recommendation that a matter requires further review only upon the affirmative vote of not less than 4 members of the board. (C) Upon the completion of any second-phase review undertaken-- (i) transmit to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct the following-- (I) a written report composed solely of-- (aa) a recommendation that the committee should dismiss the matter that was the subject of such review; (bb) a statement that the matter requires further review; or (cc) a statement that the matter is unresolved because of a tie vote; and

Rule XXVI of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by adding at the end the following new clause: ``3. Members of the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics shall file annual financial disclosure reports with the Clerk of the House on or before May 15 of each calendar year after any year in which they perform the duties of that position. Such reports shall be on a form prepared by the Clerk that is substantially similar to form 450 of the Office of Government Ethics. The Clerk shall send a copy of each such report filed with the Clerk within the seven-day period beginning on the date on which the report is filed to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct and shall have them printed as a House document and made available to the public pursuant to clause 1.''.

Clause 3 of rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended as follows: (1) In paragraph (b)(2), strike ``or'' at the end of subparagraph (A), strike the period and insert ``; or'' at the end of subparagraph (B), and add at the end the following new subparagraph: ``(C) upon receipt of a report regarding a referral from the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics.'' (2) At the end of paragraph (b), add the following new subparagraph: ``(8)(A) Except as provided by subdivisions (B), (C), and (D), not later than 45 calendar days or 5 legislative days, whichever is later, after receipt of a written report and any findings and supporting documentation regarding a referral from the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics or of a referral of the matter from the board pursuant to a request under paragraph (r), the chairman of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct shall make public the written report and findings of the board unless the chairman and ranking member, acting jointly, decide or the committee votes to withhold such information for not more than one additional period of the same duration, in which case the chairman shall-- ``(i) upon the termination of such additional period, make public the written report and findings; and ``(ii) upon the day of such decision or vote, make a public statement that the committee has voted to extend the matter relating to the referral made by the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics regarding the Member, officer, or employee of the House who is the subject of the applicable referral.

This resolution and the amendments made by it shall take effect on the date of its adoption, except that the Office of Congressional Ethics shall not undertake any review of any alleged violation by a Member, officer, or employee of the House of any law, rule, regulation, or other standard of conduct applicable to the conduct of such Member, officer, or employee in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities before 120 days after the date of adoption of this resolution.