‘Violated Federal Law’ – House Ethics Oversight Office Votes Unanimously Against AOC

Silly me. I thought the only oversight entity relating to the House of Representatives what the House Ethics Committee. Little did I know that there is actually an independent, non-partisan Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) specifically assigned to the US House of Representatives.

Well, I guess the word “non-partisan” is a bit of a stretch. But if they can just do their jobs fairly and objectively, I won’t complain.

Case in point would be their recent ruling by the OCE;

If Rep. Ocasio-Cortez accepted impermissible gifts, then she may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law

For those out of the loop, AOC attended a big whoop-te-do at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual hootenany clad in her now (in)famous “Tax the Rich” dress. The OCE is of the opinion that the dress, as well as a ton of other goodies just might not be on the up and up.

What really piqued my interest was that the vote amongst the OCE was unanimous. That’s right. Every single member of this office found enough evidence to forward this entire episode to the House Ethics Committee for further investigation.

Now comes the question, who exactly makes up this particular office? According to the official website for the US House, the OCE is comprise of the following members;

  • Mr. Paul D. Vinovich, District of Columbia, Chair
  • Mr. Leon Acton Westmoreland, Georgia
  • Ms. Karen L. Haas, Maryland
  • Mr. Michael D. Barnes, Florida, Co-Chair
  • Mr. William Paul Luther, Minnesota
  • Ms. Lorraine C. Miller, Texas

The first three were nominated by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the last three by Rep. Hakeem Jefferies (D-NY). OK, fifty-fifty, that seems pretty fair.

The only thing that leaves me scratching my head is that both the official OCE and House websites (previously cited) note that there are six members. But the specific report states something different;


I take that vote to mean that no member who was present during the vote itself openly voted no or abstained. I may be wrong. But I get the impression that there are five, not six, members of the OCE.

It’s possible that the OCE allows members to simply not show-up on voting days. If that’s the case, possibly the ethics office should be investigated. Buy by who?

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