Republican legal group files ethics complaint against Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Amanda Carey Contributor
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Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida is the subject of a new ethics complaint filed in the Office of Congressional Ethics.

The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) filed the complaint in response to a video the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which Wasserman Schultz chairs, released last week.

As The Daily Caller previously reported, the DNC ad promoting President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act appeared to violate House ethics rules that prevent footage of floor proceedings from being used for political purposes.

The 30-second ad, however, featured only footage of the president’s recent speech to a joint session of Congress — not speeches of members of Congress themselves.

Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem for the DNC. But since Wasserman Schultz is a member of Congress, some say the House ethics rules now apply to the DNC.

“This carefully orchestrated political campaign is consistent with a disturbing pattern of President Obama’s misuse of official resources for political purposes,” read the RNLA’s complaint. “Now it appears he has not only misused the resources of his own office, but he has engaged Representative Wasserman Schultz in the misuse of coverage of House proceedings, in direct violation of her ethical duties as a Member of Congress.”

The rule in question is House Rule 5, clause 2(c)(1), which says, “Broadcast coverage and recordings of House floor proceedings may not be used for any political purpose.”

Additionally, House Rule 11, clause 4(b) says that “radio and television tapes and film of any coverage of House committee proceedings may not be use, or made available for use, as partisan political campaign material to promote or oppose the candidacy of any person for public office.” (RELATED: Does a new DNC ad violate House ethics rules?

According to the Office of Congressional Ethics website, once a complaint is filed, two board members may conduct a preliminary review — a process that takes 30 days — to determine if all information available provides a reasonable basis that a violation occurred.

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