RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Representative Deborah Ross has been affirmed as a member of the House Committee on Ethics for the 118th Congress.

Rep. Ross (D) represents North Carolina house district 2, which is comprised of Wake County.  Ross will serve under the leadership of Ranking Member Susan Wild of Pennsylvania.

CBS 17’s Russ Bowen spoke to Rep. Ross about her new appointment and the questionable background of newly elected New York congressman George Santos (R).

Here’s the full Q&A:

Bowen — “This is going to be an interesting two years on that committee. What are your feelings about it going forward?”

Rep. Ross — “I think the most important thing is the Office of Congressional Ethics needs to be as robust as it possibly can. And one of those things tucked into that rules package that was so controversial was term limits for people who serve on the Office of Congressional Ethics. And so many Democrats will be term limited off. They’ll have to rotate off and we’ll have to reappoint people. But that same package said that the office has to staff up within thirty days. Of course, we want it staffed up quickly but asking it to staff up without the full slate of people oversee it is creating a lot of heartburn. There have been many government watchdogs who have said that this is to diminish its ability to do its work quickly and so they have been the real fact finders. The ethics committee gets the facts that they’ve looked into.”  

“I’m hopeful that people will be appointed very quickly, that they will be able to find good staff, and that they can get into that fact-finding so that that information can be brought to us. Because the most important thing is to dig into some of these allegations and figure out whether they happened or not, how they happened, before anybody can make a decision.”

“It would be my first term on that committee in Congress. However, when I was a state legislator, I co-chaired the ethics policy committee in the North Carolina General Assembly, and I was in charge of some aspects of the comprehensive ethics reform that we did in the wake of Speaker Black’s misdeeds. So, I have a background working on legislative ethics. I also briefly was an ethics consultant to businesses. I worked at Duke’s Kenan Ethics Institute, and I think for those reasons, the leader tapped me to be one of the members of the House Ethics Committee.”

Bowen — “Does it worry you at all that you’re going to spend time on ethics complaints or claims that are strictly political and really have nothing to do with a question of ethics?”

Rep. Ross — “I am always wanting to do the best that I can for the integrity of the institution. Is this something that people seek out to do? Not necessarily. But I feel like for the integrity of the institution and given my background when I was asked to serve, I am more than willing to serve, And I know that my Democratic colleagues are really wonderful people, and our chair has been on this committee before and has also done this work in other areas. So, I’m going to take it seriously, we’re going to find the facts and we’re going to try to come up with bi-partisan recommendations.”

Bowen — “Can you comment at all on the ethics complaint that was filed against Representative George Santos?”

Rep. Ross — “No. That would not be ethical.”

Bowen — Is there any comment you can make all as far as George Santos is concerned?

Rep. Ross — “Well what I would say is all of that all of this information that’s coming forward, the facts are going to have to be ascertained, obviously there’s been a lot of media reporting, but it’s not up to me to decide what to do until we get all of the facts and he has an opportunity to respond to them.”