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Congressman Dave Trott

Representing the 11th District of Michigan

Trott, Cicilline Introduce Bipartisan Legislation Requiring Ethics Training for Members of Congress

May 25, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representatives Dave Trott (MI-11) and David Cicilline (RI-1) introduced the Ensuring Trust and Honorability In Congressional Standards (ETHICS) Act, bipartisan legislation designed to restore the American people’s confidence in Congress by requiring all Member of Congress undergo annual ethics training.

“Time and time again, one of the biggest concerns I hear from my constituents is the federal government’s willingness to put itself above the law – a feeling that has greatly contributed to the lack of trust many Americans have in Congress. No one is above the law, and Members of Congress must live by the laws they create,” said Rep. Trott.In an effort to restore confidence in the people’s elected officials, I am working with my Democratic colleague in introducing this commonsense legislation that requires Members of the House of Representatives to take annual ethics training, ensuring representatives remain accountable to the people they represent.”  

“Elected officials should always be held to the highest standards of conduct. That’s why it’s absurd that members of the U.S. House do not have to complete annual ethics training. We need to close this loophole now,” said Rep. Cicilline. “This bill should be a no brainer. I look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Trott to push for a vote in the U.S. House.”

Under current law, all Senators, their staff, and all House staff are required to complete ethics training annually. However, because the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which applied annual ethics training to Senators and their staff, only applied to the Senate, Members of the House of Representatives are currently not required to undergo training by law.

The Ensuring Trust and Honorability in Congressional Standards (ETHICS) Act would require annual ethics training for all Members of the House of Representatives, in addition to the current Senate requirement. Mandatory ethics training would begin January 3, 2018 and must be completed:

  • No later than 60 days after starting service for new Members.
  • During each new session of Congress for returning Members.