January 2, 2017
Condemns Attempt to Gut Congressional Ethics Office
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) opposed the rules package for the new Congress that included a provision to impose fines on members who take videos or live stream from the House floor. This was in direct response to Rep. Peters’ live streaming of the House Democratic sit-in in July to make sure the American people knew there were many members who stood with them and wanted Congress to do more to end the senseless gun violence plaguing our nation. When Speaker Ryan turned off the House cameras that day, Rep. Peters used Periscope to let the people back in to the people’s House.
“At a time when America’s trust in their government is at a deep low, it’s a sad thing for the Speaker of the House of Representatives to want to punish members of Congress for shining a light on the actions of the people’s elected representatives. Mr. Ryan’s plan to create another barrier between the people and their government is as out of touch as the fact that he won’t let us take a single vote on bipartisan proposals to curb gun violence,” Rep. Peters said. “Congress needs to figure out appropriate ways to engage and empower citizens with their often too insular government. If my 21st century approach doesn't work for Speaker Ryan, I would love to hear his alternatives, but these new rules are a step back for transparency.”
Rep. Peters also condemned a late-night attempt by the Republican majority to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics – charged with independently investigating members of Congress for ethics violations – which they ultimately withdrew this morning after intense public outrage. Rep. Peters is a champion of government reform, and his Fix Congress Now plan includes proposals to raise ethics standards, increase accountability, and make government work for the people again.
Rep. Peters continued, "Launching a broadside attack on accountability was the absolute wrong way to start the new Congress. I’m glad my colleagues came to their senses and revoked this proposal, and will continue to oppose any attempt to weaken ethics standards or allow Congress to police itself.”