News & Politics

GOP Backtracks After Elizabeth Warren Shames Them—and Trump—for Secretive Attempt to Scrap Independent Ethics Panel

Yet another sign that Democrats will need to stiffen their spines constantly in 2017.

Photo Credit: CNN Money / YouTube

Update 12:30pm ET: After a morning filled with outcry, Republicans have reportedly rescinded a proposal to strip power from the Office of Congressional Ethics. The outcry was near universal and their offices were flooded with calls. Let this be a lesson to Democrats that they should push back on every Republican overstep with the exact same volume and tenacity for the next four years. 

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren took to Twitter on Tuesday to criticize House Republicans for voting, with no forewarning and behind closed doors, to weaken an independent ethics committee that investigates lawmaker misbehavior. The amendment, which House GOP members voted for 119-74, would also give oversight of the defanged office to the House Ethics Committee, meaning it would be controlled by the people it’s charged with monitoring.

In a series of tweets, Warren called out Donald Trump and the rest of his Republican collaborators for the latest step in ensuring their powers are boundless and unchecked:

House Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement on the vote that seems, if you read through all the wishy-washiness, to support the move. Though numerous outlets reported Tuesday morning that Trump had criticized the vote via Twitter, PEOTUS actually did no such thing. In a series of tweets, Trump criticized the timing of the vote—though not the vote itself—and called the ethics commission "unfair." The tweets offer political cover, giving Trump the chance to play both sides of the fence without coming down hard on either, which is par for the course in Trumpland. 

Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.

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