Congress must take steps in the new session to increase oversight and focus on rooting out corruption and strengthening our democracy, according to a letter CREW sent to Congressional leaders. The letter recommends an enforceable agenda focused on conducting meaningful oversight aimed at addressing corruption, increasing transparency, and reducing government waste, rather than partisanship.
The oversight agenda laid out by CREW includes ten specific recommendations, including mandating the White House disclose information about official visits to the White House and other locations frequented by the president, calling for the removal of the Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton, reforming the Freedom of Information Act, and requiring the Supreme Court to establish a public and binding code of ethics. CREW also recommends investigations into pandemic load fraud and the Department of Defense’s potential violation of the Emoluments Clause, which aims to prevent corruption and limit foreign influence on federal officers.
Before the new Congress began, there were loud calls for partisan attacks masked as investigations and oversight. This kind of misuse of congressional power wastes government resources and puts a strain on our democracy instead of strengthening it. Congress must act now to make appropriate oversight changes such as those outlined in the letter, and prevent partisanship from driving oversight priorities going forward.
The reforms outlined in the letter are not the only steps Congress can take in the new session to increase oversight, but are opportunities for bipartisan action that will bolster Congress’s ability to serve as an effective check on executive and judicial power—and help root out corruption. Comprehensive oversight deliberately designed to fight corruption is essential for a transparent and functioning democracy, and the 118th Congress must prioritize it.