January 2, 2017

Taking a cue from North Carolina Republicans and Pat McCrory, our Republican-led House of Representatives voted tonight to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, putting oversight direction under Congress itself.

Henhouse, meet your new foxes.

Defying the wishes of their top leaders, House Republicans voted behind closed doors Monday night to rein in the independent ethics office created eight years ago in the wake of a series of embarrassing congressional scandals.

The 119-to-74 vote during a GOP conference meeting means that the House rules package expected to be adopted Tuesday, the first day of the 115th Congress, would rename the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) to the Office of Congressional Complaint Review and place it under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee.

The OCE was created in 2008 to address concerns that the Ethics Committee had been too timid in pursuing allegations of wrongdoing by House members. Under the current House ethics regime, the OCE is empowered to release a public report of its findings even if the Ethics Committee chooses not to take further action against a member.

The move to place the OCE under the Ethics Committee’s aegis stands to please many lawmakers who have been wary of having their dirty laundry aired by the independent entity, but some Republicans feared that rolling back a high-profile ethical reform would send a negative message as the GOP assumes unified control in Washington. President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” and has proposed a series of his own ethics reforms.

Great job draining the swamp there, Republicans. Really awesome.

This sums it up:

Update: I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn those who had been under scrutiny championed the change.

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