The House has had an Ethics Committee since the 19th century but its unequal bipartisanship prevented it from fully overseeing and enforcing ethics in the House. Much like congress, it was challenging to achieve much and so in March 2008 it created the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) which, “is an independent, non-partisan entity charged with reviewing allegations of misconduct against Members, officers, and staff of the United States House of Representatives and, when appropriate, referring matters to the House Committee on Ethics.”
This means that when a member takes or gives bribes, launders money, deviates campaign finance or generally behaves like a knavish mercenary, the committee decides whether they are culpable and if so, what action should be taken. Pretty important for a government so riddled with corruption, I would say, and so would many of you, which is why this decision was overturned so swiftly.
Before the end of the year, BUST listed different ways to get politically involved. The first was Daily Action’s subscription text message, which sends users a text every day with a daily action that usually involves calling or writing to a representative demanding change. This committed company has literally made it so easy to get your voice out but it DOES require picking up the phone and calling. Many are not used to this function on their phone as we descend into the of age posting and sharing, which prove useful in raising awareness but fall short of enacting concrete change. This reversal is massive and occurred only 24 hours after the vote—power to the people!
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Jen Pitt, originally from Brazil, is a Brooklyn based writer and performer. She covers feminism, arts, and Brazilian culture.