Tuesday, January 03, 2017

House GOP Has No Time For Ethics ... Oops, Maybe Not ... ?

And the treachery begins ...

Yesterday House Republicans voted to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics [OCE]—an independent body created in 2008 to investigate allegations of misconduct by lawmakers after several bribery and corruption scandals sent members to prison.

The OCE was created after the cases of former Republican California Congressman, Randy "Duke" Cunningham—who served seven years in prison on bribery and other charges—and Republican Ohio Congressman, Bob Ney—who was charged in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and pleaded guilty to corruption charges—and Republican Louisiana Congressman—Rep. William Jefferson was also convicted of corruption.

Sense a trend ... Republican?

So, this new disemboweling of the OCE, met with outcry by the Democrats and bipartisan government watchdog groups, will be voted on today by the full House. Oh, and this new package includes a way for Republican leaders to punish lawmakers if there is a repeat of the Democratic sit-in last summer over gun control.

Yup, it’s the GOP playing nasty; who’da thunk it?

Under the ethics change pushed by Republican Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte, the OCE would fall under the control of the House Ethics Committee, which is run by lawmakers. So, lawmakers would be watching lawmakers in regards to ethics; yeah, nothing to see there.

The OCE would be changed to the Office of Congressional Complaint Review, and the rule change would require that "any matter that may involve a violation of criminal law must be referred to the Committee on Ethics for potential referral to law enforcement agencies after an affirmative vote by the members."

All that means is, again, that lawmakers would have the final say under the change as to what to do about violations by lawmakers.

Now, to be fair, while House Republicans voted 119-74 in favor of the change, Republican Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke out against the change, but failed to sway the majority of the Republicans, many of whom have felt unfairly targeted by the OCE.

Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was not happy:
"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."
Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters, blasted Ryan and his team:
"We all know the so-called House Ethics Committee is worthless for anything other than a whitewash — sweeping corruption under the rug. That's why the independent Office of Congressional Ethics has been so important. The OCE works to stop corruption and that's why Speaker Ryan is cutting its authority. Speaker Ryan is giving a green light to congressional corruption."
Well, Republican corruption clearly.

#Resist. And in 2017, vote them all out.

Moments ago, House Republicans changed their minds and decided not to go forward with this treachery.
For now, I'm sure ....


the dogs' mother said...

Well, a swamp's natural condition is to fill in (trees grow, soil settles around them, plants fill in, politicians float in...)

Professor Chaos said...

Jeezus, nothing these pricks do can shock me anymore!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Glad to hear it got voted down.

anne marie in philly said...


Helen Lashbrook said...

Does this say something to illuminate how the Republicans plan to spend the next four years? Looks as though Paul Ryan will have his hands full dealing with his own party