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Letter to Congressional Leaders on Proposed Federal Pay and Ethics Legislation

November 15, 1989

Dear Tom: (Dear Bob:)

I want to commend you and your colleagues for reaching bipartisan agreement on reform of the ethics standards that guide the actions of Federal officials.

I fully support the reforms you are prepared to bring before the House of Representatives this week. I am also pleased that you have made essential adjustments in compensation for individuals in all three branches of government. The skills of these individuals are essential to the quality of service government provides to the American people.

The progress made thus far in obtaining Congressional enactment of ethics reform legislation is encouraging. Indeed, many of the recommendations in the ethics legislation I submitted earlier this year were incorporated by the House Bipartisan Ethics Task Force in your proposal. Issues such as the ban on Congressional honoraria, limits on gifts and travel, increased financial disclosure, restrictions on outside income, conflict of interest rules, and many other important reforms have been addressed. In my view, the bill would effect a tremendous change in the landscape of government ethics standards.

I am confident that through continued bipartisan cooperation and an ongoing commitment to reform, we can, working together, continue to enhance ethical standards throughout government. In that same spirit, we can also meet our mutual commitment to reform of Federal campaign practices.

I look forward to providing assistance to you so that the package we have agreed upon thus far can be signed into law before the Congress adjourns sine die. I hope this same bipartisan spirit will be continued so that we may complete the important tasks at hand during the next session of the 101st Congress.


George Bush

Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Robert H. Michel, House minority leader.

George Bush, Letter to Congressional Leaders on Proposed Federal Pay and Ethics Legislation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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