In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, but for some reason shocked everyone, the Republicans in the House voted yesterday to completely eviscerate the Office of Congressional Ethics. For some reason, they do not enjoy having a mostly independent group sticking its nose into their business and making sure they are compliant with the rules and regulations of the government.

Fancy that. And now the King of “What the Fuck is an Ethic?” will be riding his way into the White House, and they can little afford to have anyone looking into.,.well…anything the Tangerine Tornado does or has done. The whole reason for having this ethics thing is to catch these idiots doing illegal shit that will send them to jail.

The body was created after a string of serious ethical issues starting a decade ago, including bribery allegations against Representatives Duke Cunningham, Republican of California; William J. Jefferson, Democrat of Louisiana; and Bob Ney, Republican of Ohio. All three were ultimately convicted and served time in jail.

The Office of Congressional Ethics, which is overseen by a six-member outside board, does not have subpoena power. But it has its own staff of investigators who spend weeks conducting confidential interviews and collecting documents based on complaints they receive from the public, or news media reports, before issuing findings that detail any possible violation of federal rules or laws. The board then votes on whether to refer the matter to the full House Ethics Committee, which conducts its own review. (NYT)

This is like stripping a police department’s internal affairs office down to one part-time volunteer who puts frowny faces on civilian complaints, before sending the report upstairs to be put in the shredder.

GOP leaders claim this was a coup they did not endorse. Sure. I have some ocean front property in Tennessee to sell you, too. Their votes were not needed, so who knows what they really wanted. Either Paul Ryan has completely lost control of the House, or this is one big show being put on for the benefit of somebody who gives a shit. (Spoiler alert: NOT I!)

The proposal would bar the panel from reviewing any violation of criminal law by members of Congress, requiring that it turn over complaints instead to the House Ethics Committee or refer the matter to an appropriate federal law enforcement agency. The House Ethics Committee would also have the power to stop an investigation at any point and bars the ethics office from making any public statements about any matters or hiring any communications staff.
And the ethics office would no longer be able to accept or investigate any anonymous reports of alleged wrongdoing by members of Congress. (CNN)
This is like being your own principal in high school! What the hell? The Republican party is now in control of every branch of government, and they just blew away the one thing that even gave the resemblance of oversight. What’s next? Pool-side keggers?
This goes up for a full vote Tuesday. Call your Congressman and let him or her know this is unacceptable. The pathetic excuses they are using are just that – pathetic. The GOP cannot be allowed to run all of Washington with no real oversight. Here is a link for an easy way to get that contact information; a call is the most effective way to make your voice be heard.
UPDATE: The New York Times reports that House Republicans have scuttled this legislation due to the severe, bipartisan backlash, including tweets (of course) from PEOTUS.

It was an embarrassing turnabout on the first day of business for the new Congress, a day when party leaders were hoping for a show of force to reverse policies of the Obama administration.The reversal came less than 24 hours after House Republicans, meeting in a secret session, voted, over the objections of Speaker Paul D. Ryan, to eliminate the independent ethics office.




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