Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Breaking: House Republicans Reverse On Gutting Ethics Rules Change

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan

House Republicans have now u-turned on their plan to gut the Congressional independent ethics panel.

From CNN:

House Republican leaders have pulled a proposal that would gut its independent ethics panel, amid widespread criticism of the plan, multiple lawmakers tell CNN.

The decision comes less than two hours after President-elect Donald Trump criticized the timing of the vote, which was scheduled for the first day of the new congressional session.

Trump called out his fellow Republicans Tuesday for proposing to curb the powers of the independent ethics panel as their first move of the year, although the President-elect suggested the ethics panel was "unfair."

"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 ... may be, their number one act and priority. Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance! #DTS," Trump said over two consecutive tweets.

The decision came after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters the vote was moving forward. He admitted he opposed the change and said he believed it should be done in a "bipartisan fashion" but said House Speaker Paul Ryan created an open process and "sometimes you win, sometimes you lose."

House Republicans voted 119-74 during a closed-door meeting in favor of Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte's proposal, which would place the independent Office of Congressional Ethics under the control of those very lawmakers, a move that outraged Democrats and outside ethics organizations. The full House of Representatives is expected to vote on it as part of a larger rules package up for consideration Tuesday.

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