Kilmer begins third term in Congress

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer began his third term in Congress this week as the House was roiled by a Republican plan to undermine the authority of the Congressional Ethics Office.

The move by the Republican majority to green light a change to House rules that would severely limit the ability of the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate allegations of corruption prompted criticism from both Republicans and Democrats, as well as a warning tweet from President-elect Donald Trump.

The 115th United States Congress started Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Kilmer said the attempt to gut the Congressional Ethics Office was a wrong idea at the wrong time.

“Congress needs to get back on track,” said Kilmer, a Gig Harbor Democrat who has served Washington’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House since 2013.

“It can’t do that without having transparency and accountability when it comes to ethics,” Kilmer continued. “More than ever, a strong Office of Congressional Ethics is needed to ensure that leaders abide by the highest standards. I’m glad this office will continue to operate independently. To restore the public’s faith in Congress it’s time for members to focus on offering solutions that give people hope that our future will remain bright.”

Kilmer was elected to his third term in Congress in November with 61 percent of the vote over Republican challenger Todd Bloom.

Washington’s 6th Congressional District spans the Olympic Peninsula, plus much of the Kitsap Peninsula and most of the city of Tacoma.