House moves to weaken its ethics panel

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Draining the swamp? Republicans in the House have moved to weaken an independent ethics office, placing it under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee.

This is actually a complicated story, because the panel as it presently exists has been misused a number of times for political partisan reasons, and clearly was a threat to the Republicans now in charge and planning many significant changes to the government in the face of a very hostile and partisan press.

Nonetheless, making this the new Congress’s very first move seems ill-advised politically, and does suggest they are trying to shield themselves from justifiable investigations. It also gives their opponents a convenient hammer to hit them over the head unnecessarily. Then again, those same opponents would have used this ethics panel against Republicans anyway, so maybe it doesn’t matter.

Either way, this story gives us a taste of the coming years. It will certainly not be boring.

Update: The House has pulled the amendment so that no change to the ethics panel will take place. While there are plenty of good reasons why they should not have introduced this change now, and should back off, the manner in which they folded so quickly does not bode well for the more difficult changes that they propose to pass in the coming years. Are they going to fold when they try to repeal Obamacare and the left and the press goes bonkers? I suspect yes. Will they fold when Trump proposes slashing the EPA budget and the environmental movement goes nuts in protest? I suspect yes.

These Republicans have no courage, made worse by their lemming-like herd instincts.



  • Cotour

    Let us not become confused, this is Strategy focused on removing anything that might hamper accomplishing what must be accomplished. This will be the famous “sausage” making in Congress that we hear about sooo often. Hold your nose and make sure you are wearing eye protection, get the yellow “crime scene” tape ready and get the hell out of the way, men (and women) working.

    After what must be accomplished is accomplished reinstall these mostly symbolic offices if that makes you feel better. The Congress like I have pointed out so many times in the past in many ways operates before the law and morality in order to do their business.

    This is not making some flimsy excuse for the debauchery that will certainly happen in time but this system of governance must be seen as a function of battle and warfare and as we all know, there are no rules in war nor in love.

    Buckle up!

  • Cotour

    The Tweet is mightier than the GOP?

    Trump comes out looking good again? As the Republican Congress functionally readies itself for battle their leader and adversary guides them to a higher place? Wow.

    The era of Trump will be confounding to many. Add to that the potential ability to actually reshape the political landscape for his party and actually deliver to the people who supported him along with most all other Americans that did not what he promised bodes a long blowing bad wind for the Democrats.

    Trump Inspires Ford to build new plant in U.S.:

    Add to that this little news item:

    And the potential consequences of an effective Trump administration again looms large over the leftist Democrats. All this without even taking office, the leftist Obama looks like he has been sleeping for eight years.

  • Ted

    I am confused. What party controls the House? What party controls the Senate. In a couple of weeks will we not have a Republican taking the office of President?

    So why in blazes are republican so willing to kill off an ethics panel? (More stuff to hide?)

    Hey – YOU won – you won nationally, regionally, state wide. You’ve recaptured over 1000 seats of government at all levels.

    WHY are you acting like you lost? Are you afraid some snow flake is gonna burst out in tears or be unable to find their safe space?

    Grow a pair! Act like winners – not also rans. Participation trophies are for losers. Start participating, ruling organizing and leading from out front. We’ve had enough leading from behind.

    Rant over.

  • wayne

    Ford is not “building a new plant in the USA,” they are just investing in their already existing Flat Rock, Michigan assembly plant…. for electric cars & hybrids, which are subsidized by the Feds.
    (A Plant which btw, employs 1/3 of the people they did in 2006.)

    We still have 90 million people, not in the work force.

  • Vladislaw

    This was never about this … the republicans knew this was going to cause a storm and be all over the media. They also knew they were going to reverse on it after a public outcry. That Trump would send out a tweet and look like the white knight and having congress change course .. ALWAYS predictable.

    What this was really about was what was slipped in with this legislation.. Medicare and Medicaid are “mandatory spending” and that was moved into discretionary funding so now it has to compete for funds with the military budget.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *