House Republicans, overriding their top leaders, voted on Monday to significantly curtail the power of an independent ethics office set up in 2008 in the aftermath of corruption scandals that sent three members of Congress to jail.
The move to effectively kill the Office of Congressional Ethics was not made public until late Monday, when Representative Robert W. Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced that the House Republican Conference had approved the change. There was no advance notice or debate on the measure.
The surprising vote came on the eve of the start of a new session of Congress, where emboldened Republicans are ready to push an ambitious agenda on everything from health care to infrastructure, issues that will be the subject of intense lobbying from corporate interests. The House Republicans’ move would take away both power and independence from an investigative body, and give lawmakers more control over internal inquiries.
With this office now gutted it essentially means that these lawmakers can do as they please with no independent oversight and if anybody complains they will promise to have their pals on the newly created, and totally partisan, Office of Congressional Complaint Review "look into it."
Here was Nancy Pelosi's statement:
“Republicans claim they want to ‘drain the swamp,’ but the night before the new Congress gets sworn in, the House GOP has eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions. Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress.
“The Office of Congressional Ethics is essential to an effective ethics process in the House, providing a vital element of transparency and accountability to the ethics process. The amendment Republicans approved tonight would functionally destroy this office.
“Congress must hold itself to the highest standards of conduct. Instead, the House Republicans Conference has acted to weaken ethics and silence would-be whistleblowers.”
Remember this happened on DAY ONE. And it can only get worse from here.
Trump himself also tweeted his displeasure at this move by House Republicans.
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
However his opinion makes little difference. And he is undoubtedly only tweeting this to cover his gigantic orange ass.........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
Any moron who voted for Donald Trump and these ass clowns because they believed they were going to "drain the swamp," and clean up Washington, is a special kind of stupid.
If we thought we had seen corruption before we are about to get a taste of what REAL corruption looks like.