Monday, January 2, 2017

House GOP Votes to Gut Independent Ethics Office

House Republicans have voted to eviscerate the independent Office of Government Ethics, prompting an outcry from Democrats and watchdog groups.

The vote Monday night would put the office under the control of the House Ethics committee, which is run by lawmakers. The full House is expected to vote on this change Tuesday.

In a statement, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Republicans had claimed they wanted to “drain the swamp,” an oft-repeated phrase from President-elect Donald Trump. Instead, Pelosi said the night before the new Congress, Republicans have eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions.

She added: “Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress.”

The League of Women Voters said Speaker Paul Ryan is “giving a green light to congressional corruption.”

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