Tuesday, January 03, 2017

House Republicans Vote to Hobble Independent Ethics Office

So it begins.  Donald Trump. a/k/a Der Fuhrer has not even yet been sworn into office and the reign of corruption begins.  House Republicans, with no notice or debate, voted yesterday to significantly curtail the power of an independent ethics office that oversees the conduct of Members of the House of Representatives and House congressional officials.  One can only assume the move was taken in the wake of Der Fuhrer's refusal to disengage himself from his business empire and not use the office of the presidency to further enrich himself.  Obviously, this does not bode well for the country and the typical American voter and signals that things will likely only get worse.  A piece in the New York Times looks at the disturbing development.  Here are story highlights:  
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.
The full House is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the rules, which will last for two years, until the next congressional elections.
The surprising vote came on the eve of the start of a new session of Congress, with emboldened Republicans ready to push an ambitious agenda on everything from health care to infrastructure, issues that will be the subject of intense lobbying from corporate interests. The move by Republicans would take away both power and independence from an investigative body, and give lawmakers more control over internal inquiries.
Mr. Goodlatte defended the action in a statement issued Monday evening, saying it would strengthen ethics oversight in the House while also giving lawmakers better protections against what some members have called overzealous efforts by the Office of Congressional Ethics.
Let's be clear.  Goodlatte is a liar and obviously id looking to enrich himself off of lobbyist bribes.  Now corruption is a GOP "family value."  The cesspool gets worse and worse.  

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