Well, that didn’t take long:
House Republicans, defying their top leaders, voted Monday to significantly curtail the power of an independent ethics office set up in 2008 in the aftermath of corruption scandals that sent three members of Congress to jail.
The move to weaken the Office of Congressional Ethics was not public until late Monday, when Representative Robert Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced that the House Republican Conference had approved the change with no advance public notice or debate.
In its place, a new Office of Congressional Complaint Review would be set up within the House Ethics Committee, which before the creation of the Office of Congressional Ethics had been accused of ignoring credible allegations of wrongdoing by lawmakers.
Rep. Goodlatte defends the change:
“The amendment builds upon and strengthens the existing Office of Congressional Ethics by maintaining its primary area of focus of accepting and reviewing complaints from the public and referring them, if appropriate, to the Committee on Ethics,” he said, in his statement. “The O.C.E. has a serious and important role in the House, and this amendment does nothing to impede their work.”
People often make changes that will help against corruption behind closed doors and with no public input. On the other hand, it does align the House with Donald Trump who will probably run the most corrupt administration in generations.