by Jim Nintzel
With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017
........may be, their number one act and priority. Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance! #DTS— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017
Following a public outcry, and tweeted criticism from President-elect Donald Trump, House Republicans reversed course Tuesday on a proposal to gut their own ethics watchdog.Yesterday's vote on the amendment to the House Rules was anonymous, so we don't know how many of the members of Congress voted, although Talking Points Memo is keeping a scorecard of representatives who have disclosed how they voted.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called an emergency House GOP conference Tuesday around noon to scrap a proposed House rule that would have effectively declawed the Office of Congressional Ethics. The proposal, which House Republicans approved behind closed doors Monday night, would have defied Trump’s “drain the swamp” mantra aimed at making Washington more transparent and less cozy.
But McCarthy's motion to restore the current OCE set-up was adopted by unanimous consent after Trump himself got involved — an intervention that irritated a number of House Republicans who supported the move to neuter the ethics office.
“We shot ourselves in the foot,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), who said the ethics snafu was an unnecessary self-inflicted wound. “Sometimes people have to learn the hard way.”
I am glad to see Republican leaders chose to reverse the proposed changes to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) that would weaken the independent watchdog group that holds Congress accountable. The American people deserve a transparent and accountable government. I will be introducing legislation in the coming weeks that funds the Office of Congressional Ethics and gives the Committee the power to fully investigate cases of fraud, conflicts of interest, and other ethics violations.