Ethics committee reverses decision on travel disclosures

After drawing outrage from some government watchdog groups, the House Ethics Committee announced Thursday that it will reverse a decision to alter the way that members of Congress must report gifts of travel they receive from outside groups.

The committee had removed the requirement that congressional travel by outside groups be reported on lawmakers' annual financial disclosure forms, arguing that

But that change, first reported this week by National Journal, prompted backlash from government watchdogs and some Democrats — who argued it removed some transparency and would make it harder to monitor which lawmakers were accepting trips of travel — and the committee said Thursday that it would reverse the change.

"The committee will return to it's prior guidance regarding reporting of these trips on financial disclosure forms," the committee wrote in a statement issued today, which included a multiple-page question-and-answer section that remained insistent that the now-abandoned change would not have limited transparency.

Wesley Lowery is a national reporter covering law enforcement and justice for the Washington Post. He previously covered Congress and national politics.
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