After many vocal objections to their proposal to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, the House GOP has reversed its decision, multiple outlets are reporting.
BREAKING: Two Republican lawmakers say House GOP drops rules change gutting ethics office .
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) January 3, 2017
This comes after President Elect Donald Trump criticized the move.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump criticized House Republicans Tuesday for making one of their first acts a vote to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, arguing that tax reform and health care should be higher priorities.
“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,” Trump asked over Twitter the morning after the surprise and secretive move by the House GOP.
“Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!” he added.
Trump’s comments came after GOP House members voted behind closed doors Monday to give lawmakers themselves ultimate control over the Office of Congressional Ethics, the independent body created in 2008 to investigate allegations of misconduct by lawmakers. The office was created after several bribery and corruption scandals sent members to prison.
Whether or not you agree with the idea that there shouldn’t be an independent office (and I am open to those arguments), when even Donald Trump is telling you that the optics of the situation are kinda bad, then, yeah, you’ve got a problem.
Hopefully, the GOP pulling the proposal means they realized just how awful it looked and will try to do better in the future to do the right thing and the smart thing.