All this talk of draining the swamp and making things better and more transparent on Capitol Hill is apparently a crock of… well, it’s not a very pleasant crock. Anyway, the House GOP has decided, despite clear warnings from leadership, to remove the independence of the Office of Congressional Ethics. Because nothing says “No” to corruption and transparency by taking away an agency’s independent ability to look into you. Via Politico:
Despite a warning from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Republicans on Monday adopted a proposal by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to put the Office of Congressional Ethics under the jurisdiction of the House Ethics Committee.
The office currently has free rein, enabling investigators to pursue allegations and then recommend further action to the House Ethics Committee as they see fit.
Now, the office would be under the thumb of lawmakers themselves. The proposal also appears to limit the scope of the office’s work by barring them from consider anonymous tips against lawmakers. And it would stop the office from disclosing the findings of some of their investigations, as they currently do after the recommendations go to House Ethics.
This is a very clear example of “Hahaha it’s our turn now!”, as well as a great example of lack of political foresight.
The Democrats had unchecked power for a while and did a lot of damage with it. The GOP looked at 2008-2010 and said “You know what? We need that, but we need it bigger.” So, they are giving themselves the authority to direct the Office of Congressional Ethics, as well as loosening the rules on conflicts of interest.
But, even more than the corruption/potential corruption here is the fact that the GOP really believes that there is no chance at all of a comeback from a now very vindictive Democratic Party. You know what? The Democrats thought the same thing in 2008. There is a reason that certain Democrats are really, really upset that they used the nuclear option in the Senate.
This is irritating in that the results will be oh so predictable. But, I suppose the GOP will have to learn that the hard way… God help us.