Ethics & the Executive Branch

February 13, 2007
Blog
Today, Chairman Waxman introduced two bills to increase government transparency and encourage the discovery of waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer money. Today's hearing provided an opportunity for the Committee to focus on the issues of lobbying and ethics reform in the executive branch. The Committee heard from noted experts and academics on these issues.

The Executive Branch Reform Act is a comprehensive reform measure that would increase transparency in the executive branch by requiring senior government officials to report significant contacts with lobbyists. The WB Protection Enhancement Act would for the first time extend whistleblower protections to national security officials and employees of federal contractors.

Watch Chairman Henry Waxman's opening remarks:

Transcript (pdf) >>

Watch Mark Zaid, Esq., who has served as the attorney for "Able Danger" whistleblowers, give his opening statement on the need for reform on whistleblower protections and executive branch classification privileges: 

The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007 >>

The Executive Branch Reform Act of 2007 >>

Background:

Ethics gun is turned at executive

The Hill - February 13, 2007

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is planning to move legislation that would place strict ethics limits on executive-branch officials, going further than the ethics reforms the lower chamber adopted for itself last month.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and a close ally of Pelosi's, is scheduled to hold a hearing on the legislation today and plans to mark it up in committee tomorrow.

Several of the proposed reforms in the measure appear to be in response to various controversies that have emerged during President Bush's tenure, ranging from a dispute over a secret energy task force to criticism over paying pundits for favorable reviews.

One of the far-reaching reforms Waxman is considering would require executive-branch officials to report all significant contacts they have with any private interest related to an official government action.