Payne faces ethics probe

The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) has recommended that the House Select Committee on Ethical Standards launch an investigation into two privately funded Caribbean trips by U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-Newark) and four other Members of Congress, according to a report in Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

"This marks the first time that the panel has made recommendations since the House voted to establish the quasi-independent ethics watchdog in early 2008," Roll Call wrote.

The committee named an investigative subcommittee in June following published reports that Payne and others violated House rules by taking the trip.

Roll Call says that if the OCE "recommends the ethics committee review a matter, the ethics panel has 45 days before it must publicize the OCE's report and recommendations. The committee may extend that period by an additional 45 days, although it must make that decision public."

Payne faces ethics probe