(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
POLS UPDATE #3: Per Talking Points Memo, we learn that Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) voted NO on the proposal. No word on the other five members of Colorado’s delegation.
POLS UPDATE #2: As Chris Cillizza asks for “The Fix,” WTF are Republicans doing?:
That so many Republican Members — 119 voted for the proposal — didn’t grasp how remarkably bad it all looks to a public already deeply skeptical of Washington speaks volumes about how sheltered many politicians still are from the constituents who elected Donald Trump president on November 8. Regardless of the merits (or lack thereof) of the OCE, the manner in which House Republicans scrapped it is remarkably tone-deaf and should worry any member of the GOP about what’s to come in this new legislative year.
POLS UPDATE: After President-elect Donald Trump scolds congressional Republicans on Twitter, Politico now reporting:
Following a public outcry, and criticism from President-elect Donald Trump, House Republicans reversed course Tuesday on drastic changes to the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) offered a motion to restore the current OCE rules, and that was accepted by the GOP conference.
In its first move to help President-Elect Donald J. Trump “Drain the Swamp” the House GOP caucus has voted overwhelmingly to “eviscerate” the independent Office of Congressional Ethics.
The late evening vote, done behind closed doors with no roll call, gutted the OCE of all meaningful power.
As NPR reports:
The House Republican Conference voted Monday night to approve a change to House rules to weaken the independence of the Office of Congressional Ethics and place it under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee — a panel controlled by party leaders.
Among the changes: Stripping the OCE of any ability to investigate complaints without the politicians’ approval; Gutting the Office of its ability to communicate with media or to inform the public, which funds the operations of government, including congressional salaries, staff and committees; and, Prohibiting the OCE from notifying law enforcement when it uncovers evidence of criminal wrong doing.
Today the full House will vote on the entire rules package on the floor. And although GOP leadership put up some tepid resistance to the move to slash ethical oversight it is unclear if Ryan or McCarthy will actually try to prevent this provision from moving forward. Unless people rise up and call their GOP House Members today. Things to ask would include if the Member voted for this gutless move and if the Member plans to vote for the rules package that includes it.
Many observers quickly figured out that GOP calls to “drain the swamp” were primarily political grandstanding. Why would swamp creatures ruin their own enterprise? But some may have thought that the very first order of business would not be such a blatant attempt to shield themselves from accountability and public oversight, and then to lie to the American people about what their amendment actually does.
After accusing Hillary Clinton of operating under her own set of rules that existed for the “elites,” Mr. Trump’s prolific Twitter account has been deafeningly silent.
Welcome to the Swamp – Resist Now.