The Death of the House Republicans' Ethics Amendment Proves Calling Your Congressman Works

January 4th 2017

Danielle DeCourcey

House Republicans tried to strip the Office of Congressional Ethics of its power, but the intense public backlash blocked the change and proved an important point about civic engagement: calling your congressman works. 

On Monday, House Republicans, against reported objections from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), decided to place the independent and non-partisan Office of Congressional Ethics under the House Ethics Committee, which would effectively give Congress control of the watchdog office that investigates members of Congress. 

However, the changes, which were made in a closed-door meeting with no public debate, were rescinded after igniting a firestorm of criticism and calls to congressional offices on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post

“I can tell you the calls we’ve gotten in my district office and here in Washington surprised me, meaning the numbers of calls. People are just sick and tired,” Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) told the Post about the proposed change. “People are just losing confidence in the lack of ethics and honesty in Washington.”

Twitter users made a call to action: call your elected officials and complain. 

In November, former Congressional staff member Emily Ellsworth went viral by tweeting advice about how to get complaints heard by elected officials. 

She said that tweeting and social media is "largely ineffective" but calling a congressional office is the most effective method. Ellsworth's advice seems to have proven true, at least on Tuesday. 

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