KIMT News 3- House Republicans dropped plans to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics on Tuesday after receiving pressure from President-elect Trump.
The OCE was started in 2008. Iowa State Representative Josh Byrnes said it was originally a bipartisan idea to provide oversight on ethics within the House chamber at the federal level.
On Monday, the majority of current republicans in the House tried to eliminate the power of the OCE and place it under lawmakers’ control. Byrnes said because lawmakers’ reversed their plans swiftly after Trump’s Twitter message to House Republicans showed respect to the president-elect.
“When he [Trump] takes to Twitter, ‘I don’t think you guys should be doing this’, and all of sudden they reserve their decision very swiftly, I think that’s a sign maybe how this administration does have some power or control over the House, Senate and Republicans.”
Iowa State Representative Sharon Steckman said trying to take away oversight on the OCE was a bad move for House Republicans.
“It’s too bad that they [House Republicans] choose this to be their mantra opening the session. I mean I really think it was poor judgement on their part,” said Steckman. “They [originally] put it [ethics committee] in place because no one was overseeing what they were doing. I’m sorry, if you’re doing something that doesn’t look ethical, maybe you should be investigated.”
Byrnes said the the independent congressional ethics board has worked well in the past. “It’s working, so just because someone has an ax to grind, isn’t a good reason to get rid of it.”