The unanimous finding by the Office of Congressional Ethics was
submitted to the House Ethics Committee in December. Monday was the
deadline for making those findings public.
The Ethics Committee, which is not commenting on the report, said in
a statement that it would continue reviewing the matter and did not
say when it could deliver a decision on whether a violation of House
The board of the Office of Congressional Ethics said in its report
on the matter, "There is substantial reason to believe
Representative McMorris Rodgers' congressional staff performed ...
campaign activities using official resources."
Elliot Berke, an attorney for McMorris Rodgers, said, "We remain
confident that, in time, the (Ethics) Committee will dismiss the
complaint, which was based on frivolous allegations from a single
Berke added, "At no time did they (McMorris Rodgers or her staff)
improperly mix official and campaign resources."
McMorris Rodgers chairs the House Republican Conference, a
leadership post that puts her in a position to develop legislative
initiatives in the Republican-controlled chamber. In January, she
was tapped to give the Republican response to Democratic President
Barack Obama's State of the Union speech.
In a similar but separate action, the Office of Congressional Ethics
in December also unanimously found that freshman Republican
Representative Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma may have violated limits
on income earned from outside sources.
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The panel said that in 2013, Mullin received at least $600,000 in
income from Mullin Plumbing Inc and affiliated companies, which is
substantially above the $26,955 in outside income allowed under
House rules and federal law.
In a statement, Mullin said, "After first getting elected, we set up
a meeting with the House Ethics Committee to determine what we
needed to do to comply with all House ethics rules regarding our
Mullin added that he has "followed those recommendations to the
letter" and that he will "continue to fight for the right to stay
involved in my business."
(Reporting by Richard Cowan; editing by Cynthia Osterman and
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