The Daily Pulse:

Wamp and Shuler Slapped with Ethics Complaint

A non-partisan watchdog group has filed an ethics complaint against U.S. Reps. Zach Wamp and Heath Shuler for receiving below-market rent at the C-Street House, a Washington residence operated by a secretive and controversial Christian group known as as the Fellowship Foundation.

In its complaint, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington charged that Wamp and Shuler have received lodging for around half the going rate. On top of that, they receive meals and maid service at no charge. This, the group claims, constitutes a violation of ethics rules:
The House and Senate gift rules specifically include "lodging" as a prohibited gift. There are only two exceptions to the ban on accepting lodging: if it is provided by an individual based on personal friendship, or if it is hospitality in a personal residence owned by an individual. Here, because a corporate entity - C Street Center, Inc. - owns the property, neither exception applies. In addition, members may not accept gifts offered to members of Congress because of their official positions. As only members of Congress appear to live in the C Street House, it seems likely that it is because of their positions that they are permitted to live there and are offered below market rent.

Metro Pulse ran an editorial about Wamp's involvement in the C Street House last summer; apparently Shuler thought it a good idea to take up residence there in August, just as the scandal was unfolding.

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