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Republicans vote to eliminate independent ethics office, Ryan and Trump are not on board with the decision

buzzz worthy. . .



By Mona Austin


Now that the New Year has started America is getting a clearer picture of what to expect from the Trump Administration. Today as the 115th Congress gets underway and Vice President Biden swears in new leaders, it will be out with the old in with the new way of handling ethics violations.

In their effort to "drain the swamp" in Washington, Republican lawmakers have agreed to get rid of the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R) proposed the amendment which was voted on 119-74 in a closed door meeting Monday night, a change Republican leader Paul Ryan opposes.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) expressed her oppostion to the measure in a fiery 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 change places oversight into the hands of the newly named Office of Congressional Complaint Review, which is controlled by the House Ethics Committee. Formerly, law makers were not a part of the process of investigating and decisioning complaints that evaluated their own misconduct. Now lawmakers will have the final say on whether complaints are forwarded to law enforcement agencies. Not only is this upsetting to Democrats, but also to outside companies that have done the work in the past that will lose income.

It appears the culture of the new Washington is being primed for incoming Pres. Donald Trump, who has demonstrated little to no regard for protocol and ethics during his transition.

However, over two tweets today, his preferred method of communication, Trump criticized the Republican led Congress for focusing on gutting the watchdog as their first order of business, although he has complained the OCE was "unfair" in the past. "Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance! #DTS," Trump wrote.

UPDATE: At around 12:18 P.M. on Jan. 3, House Republicans pulled the proposal to change the operation of the ethics committee.

Next on the GOP agenda is the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans plan to overturn Obama's signature healthcare program with no alternative solution in sight. Without a replacement for health insurance coverage that Trump has called "lousy" the 13.8 million Ameicans curently enrolled in Obamacare will be left without coverage.

Steny Hoyer, the House's second-ranking Democrat vowed they will "fight as hard as ever" to prevent the dismantling of Obamacare.