Washington (CNN) -- Inside an ordinary office building six blocks from the Capitol, investigators sift through evidence of possible violations against ethics and laws committed by the nation's elected representatives.
This is the Office of Congressional Ethics, also known as the OCE.
It is one of the most important watchdogs in Washington. That's because the OCE is the only quasi-independent government body whose sole mandate is to formally investigate members of Congress.
But it could soon be silenced by the very people it investigates.
"What is outrageous about it is that you see members of Congress on both sides saying they have zero tolerance for unethical conduct," said Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor who now directs Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
"But then behind closed doors they are quietly trying to kill the one body in Congress that is seriously going after unethical members."