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House Republicans Are Actually Not Going to Gut the Office of Congressional Ethics

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On Monday evening in a secret vote, Republicans in the House of Representatives voted 119-74 to change the place of the independent Office of Congressional Ethics to be under oversight of the House Ethics Committee. This was unsurprisingly seen as members of Congress trying to take significant power away from the office that's supposed to investigate them—not a great look. Within 24 hours, the House had reversed the measure.

 The Office was formed in 2008 in response to charges of corruption in Congress, and some people even ended up being sent to prison. According to Fox News and the Associated Press, House Republicans wanted to change things around so that members of congress would decide if accusations against their colleagues would be referred to law enforcement. This doesn't seem like the most ethical plan, as you're a lot less likely to say someone should be charged with corruption if they're someone you know well and work with.

The initial vote was seen by many as a grim vision of how Washington will act in the new administration. But President-Elect Trump himself criticized the move, saying it wasn't good prioritization on the part of Congress (notice he's not mad because of what they did, just the order they did it in):  

Tuesday afternoon, in the wake of the intense backlash received for the proposal, the House decided to reverse the action. The New York Times called it an "embarrassing turnabout on the first day of business for the new Congress," but at least they didn't go through with destroying a necessary piece of government.


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