Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, July 28th, 2017

U.S. House Republicans Drop Proposal to Rein in Ethics Watchdog

U.S. House Republicans Drop Proposal to Rein in Ethics Watchdog

WASHINGTON - U.S. House Republicans on Tuesday dropped a proposal they passed overnight to shift the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent non-partisan agency that polices potential ethical wrongdoing by lawmakers, to a position underneath the House ethics committee, just hours after President-elect Donald Trump slammed it for "weakening" the watchdog.
"House Republicans made the right move in eliminating this amendment that should never have seen the light of day," said David Donnelly, president and CEO of Every Voice watchdog group on Tuesday. "Not one voter went to the polls in November hoping Congress would gut ethics oversight."
"After eight years of operation, many members believe the Office of Congressional Ethics is in need of reform to protect due process and ensure it is operating according to its stated mission," House Speaker Paul Ryan defended the proposal in a statement earlier Tuesday.
His remarks came just before the withdrawal by House Republicans and soon after Trump criticized the proposal over his two tweets earlier on Tuesday.
"With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it ... may be, their number one act and priority. Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!" Trump tweeted.
He added  "#DTS" at the end of his tweet, short for  "Drain the Swamp," the anti-corruption slogan from Trump's campaign.
Republicans in the House of Representatives voted Monday night for the ethics watchdog's position shift. The new mandate for the office, if approved by the full Congress, would restrict it from making public statements, allow the House to halt investigations and stop anonymous reporting. (Xinhua)