House Republicans manage to thoroughly embarrass themselves in an epic fail on Day One.
Donald Trump hasn’t even taken office yet and is already considered an ethical disaster because of his extensive personal business ties, and the fact that he apparently has no interest in separating himself from them. Republicans, now in control the entire federal government, have, so far, taken a ‘blind eye’ approach to the potentially unconstitutional Trump administration conflicts of interest.
What the House attempted to do on Monday night is more than an interesting twist in the ethical swamp plots that have infested Capitol Hill for as long as anyone can remember; they tried to ‘deregulate’ their own ethics rules.
By Tuesday morning, the Republican masters of verbal gymnastics took to the cable TV airwaves to defend, rationalize, and otherwise make excuses to justify their attempt to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). However, their victory was short-lived. After a firestorm of media bashing against the move, Republicans retreated.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called an emergency House GOP conference Tuesday around noon to scrap a proposed House rule that would have effectively declawed the Office of Congressional Ethics. The proposal, which House Republicans approved behind closed doors Monday night, would have defied Trump’s “drain the swamp” mantra aimed at making Washington more transparent and less cozy.
The OCE was responsible for exposing corruption scandals like the ones that involved former Sen. Tom Delay(R-TX), who was sent to prison for money laundering, and lobbyist Jack Ambramoff, who served time in prison on bribery charges.
The real question should be, why do Republicans think they need to get rid of ethics rules?
The Washington Post offered a few suggestions.
One could crudely say that House Republicans now want a cut of the action from lobbyists, trade groups and industry representatives without the threat of public exposure.
The DNC added their own, rather blunt comments on Republican motives.
It should be clear by now that Donald Trump — already the most corrupt and conflicted President-elect in history — is betraying his promise to drain the swamp. Now Republicans in the House are following his example, attempting to cripple the independent entity that deals with ethics in Congress.
If actions speak louder than words, trying to gut the OCE is a screamer. Better get those really tall rubber boots out. Looks like we’re going to be hip-deep in swamp slime.
Featured image: CC0 Public Domain https://pixabay.com/en/alligator-animal-animal-photography-1851313/
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Tobin is the author of Afterlife: The Journey Of A Dog’s Spirit This heartwarming story is told through the eyes of an animal spirit that has been sent back to earth in the body of a small dog. His mission is to help a young woman discover that their destinies are more connected to the powers of the Spirit World than either of them ever imagined. If you’ve ever shared your life with a dog or any other pet, you will never look at them the same way again after reading this book. Available now on Amazon.com.