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By Dennis F. Thompson

The acceptance of Congress isn't really excessive, and a person who writes approximately its ethics runs the danger of both encouraging the bashers or becoming a member of the apologists. This e-book was once written in a spirit of appreciate for Congress and with an angle of admiration for many of these who function individuals.

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Members are understandably wary of more ethics regulation, but the press and the public are reasonably suspicious of the current process in which members judge each other. In the confusing cycle of charges and countercharges that ensues, Congress is increasingly distracted from its legislative business, and public confidence in its capacity to govern is eroded. In this systematic study of ethics in the contemporary Congress, Dennis Thompson argues that problems of ethics call for new ways of thinking about legislative misconduct and new procedures for dealing with it.

Even when they have not done wrong, an increasingly distrustful public is more likely to believe that they have. In light of these growing tensions in the role of representatives, we should not accept either of the extreme interpretations of the ethics movement in government. "34 But neither should we conclude that more ethics reform is unnecessary or counterproductive. Although the extensive regulations of recent years have not solved the problem of corruption, that does not necessarily mean that more changes would not be beneficial.

Like the activities of all major institutions in American society, the business of legislation has grown more specialized and complex. A member of Congress now faces formidable challenges in campaigning for reelection, mastering the substance of legislation, serving constituents, and collaborating with colleagues. If members do not develop the expertise and experience necessary to cope with these challenges, others (staff, lobbyists, bureaucrats) will, and they will come to dominate the legislative process.

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