According to MSNBC, House Republicans voted yesterday (January 2nd) to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, the independent body created in 2008 to investigate allegations of misconduct by lawmakers after several bribery and corruption scandals sent members of Congress to prison.
Democrats blasted the move, which is part of a rules package approved Monday that the full House will vote on when Congress reconvenes today. Under the change, the non-partisan Office of Congressional Ethics would come under the control of the House Ethics Committee, which is run by members of Congress. Its name would be changed to Office of Congressional Complaint Review, and any issues that could involve a violation of criminal law would be sent to the panel, which would have to approve it by vote before referring it to law enforcement.
Even though senior GOP leaders, including Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, were opposed to the change, it was approved by House Republicans in a 119-74 vote. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi slammed the move, saying in a 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.”
So, now Congress can police themselves? Nah, that not right. It’s going to be a wild four years. SMH