President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized House Republicans for voting to greatly weaken the independent ethics committee that investigates violations committed by members of Congress.
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— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017
……..may be, their number one act and priority. Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance! #DTS— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017
In a closed-door session on Monday, House Republicans voted 119-74 to add a proposal to its House Rules package that would put the Office of Congressional Ethics under the control of the House Ethics Committee. The changes would eliminate the ability of lawmakers to send the OCE anonymous tips, and it would only be able to recommend criminal charges against lawmakers with consent from the House Ethics Committee.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) both reportedly argued against the proposal, according to the Washington Post. And Democratic lawmakers bashed the closed-door vote in favor of the proposal as “dishonest” and “absolutely ridiculous.”
The House will vote on the rules package later on Tuesday.
Update 11:25pm CT, Jan. 3: House Republicans will reportedly pull language from the House Rules package that guts the OCE following Trump’s tweets, according to the Washington Post.