With increasing tensions in the House of Representatives, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has taken action to ensure that the members of Congress remain accountable to their constituents. On Thursday, McCarthy announced that he is forming a bipartisan group of lawmakers to create a code of conduct for House members. This comes after representatives of both parties expressed their concerns about the removal of members from congressional committees.
The House already has a code of conduct in its rules, though the terms are vague and largely focus on financial regulations. It also states that members must “behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.” However, the code does not cover issues such as antisemitism or threats of violence against colleagues, which were the focus of recent efforts to strip members of committee assignments.
The Speaker’s announcement came minutes after House Republicans voted to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the Foreign Affairs panel as a rebuke for her previous comments that were labeled by some Republicans as antisemitic. The vote was 218-211 along party lines with one lawmaker, Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio), voting “present.”
This was the third time in two years that the House opted to strip lawmakers of committee assignments. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) lost their assignments in 2021 after promoting violence against Democrats. Last week, McCarthy also unilaterally blocked Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff (Calif.) and Eric Swalwell (Calif.) from serving on the House Intelligence Committee.
McCarthy has tasked a bipartisan group of lawmakers to write a code of conduct for House members. The group will be chosen by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), and will include Reps. Victoria Spartz (Ind.), Nancy Mace (S.C.) and Ken Buck (Colo.). McCarthy has promised that there will be added due process language in the resolution, as well as a commitment to reform the process for kicking members off committees.
The Speaker said that the code of conduct will not only be applicable to this Congress but to future Congresses as well. He also said that every single member of Congress has a responsibility to how they carry themselves.
With McCarthy’s announcement, House members now have a chance to ensure that they are held accountable to their constituents. By creating a code of conduct, members of Congress will be able to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects creditably on the House and upholds the values of the American people.
Title: Speaker McCarthy Forms Bipartisan Group to Create Code of Conduct for House Members