Congressional Ethics Committees Yield Little Punishment

And, of course, it's not to say the committees are not busy, particularly given the thousands of inquires regarding the new ethics and travel guidelines put into effect with the 2007 legislation.

Yet critics say that these committees present a challenge to the Obama administration's efforts to create more transparency in the ethics process.

"It is a blight on Congress that they talk about ethics and then do nothing about it," Sloan said. "They only view ethics as a way to score political points not as something they truly care about."

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