Column: Rebuilding public trust vital issue Congress must address




With the elections over, Congress faces a full plate of tough issues when it reconvenes. There will be a lot of talk about fiscal matters, “grand bargains” and sorting out party caucuses.

But there’s one vitally important question we’re certain to hear nothing about.

That is Congress’ own behavior — and more specifically, the behavior of its members. After what might be the most widely panned session in modern congressional history, Capitol Hill ought to use every means possible to rebuild the American people’s trust. Yet the matter about which it has the most control — striving to ensure the ethical behavior of its members — seems to be on no one’s agenda.

Earlier this year, The Washington Post detailed a stunning array of questionable practices. Its reporters found that 130 members and their families had traded stock in companies registered to lobby before their committees — and that more than 5,000 of those trades occurred as the bills those companies were interested in came before Congress.

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