Debatables

Is that even ethical?

By J.A. HaglJanuary 3, 2017

01/03/17

Rob Goodlatte
Rob Goodlatte Drew Angerer/Getty Images

1. The Republican-held Congress is pretty busy.  In an 119-74 vote, the House GOP voted to gut Congress' external ethical watchdog. Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte’s proposal would bar the Office of Congressional Ethics from reviewing congressional member’s violation of criminal law. That means any complaint would be turned over the House’s Ethics committee or a federal law agency. This committee would have the right stop any investigation at any point. The committee could also bar the ethics office from making any public statements on investigations. The cherry on top? The ethics office can’t accept any outsider tips. Actually, the cherry on top is that this was decided behind closed doors on a federal holiday. 

2. The independent Office of Congressional Ethics was set up in 2008 after a lobbyist pled guilty to trying to bribe members Congress. The office investigates corruption allegations and then releases findings to the public. Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy opposed the proposal. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi ripped the GOP a new one. She noticed  " the night before the new Congress gets sworn in, the House GOP has eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions. Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress."

3. What happened to draining the swamp?

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