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Ethics inaction 'appalling'?

The nonpartisan public interest group Common Cause was less than impressed with the House Ethics Committee's decision last week to clear members of Congress including Reps. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, and Rep. Peter Visclosky, D-Ind., of any wrongdoing regarding defunct defense lobbyist PMA Group, calling the committee's work "appalling" and suggesting it failed to take seriously the Office of Congressional Ethics' recommendation."The House Ethics Committee appears more interested in exonerating members of Congress than investigating them," said Common Cause president Bob Edgar. "It's no wonder the public has little faith in Congress these days."Edgar added: "This is another reminder of how critical it is to have an independent monitor of internal ethics questions in the House. It appears the Ethics Committee is too willing to defer to their colleagues in spite of credible evidence of possible misconduct."But Tiahrt's office notes that the Ethics Committee evaluated the evidence and decided unanimously that Tiahrt did not violate "any law, regulation, rule or other applicable standard of conduct."