Monday, January 09, 2017

U.S. CONGRESS - First Day

"First day of new Congress reveals GOP divisions over ethics" PBS NewsHour 1/3/2017

IMHO:  Republicans are afraid because they have become the most un-ethical party in America.  ALWAYS butting money before caring for the people, butting party doctrine before the welfare of our nation.  Also note that the proposal was pulled after backlash from Republicans AND Trump.


SUMMARY:  It's opening day of the 115th Congress, and there's already tension.  Under pressure, House Republicans deserted plans some had made on Monday to rapidly gut an independent congressional ethics board.  Lisa Desjardins reports from Capitol Hill and joins Judy Woodruff to discuss what that division means for the term to come.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Good evening, and happy new year.

We're going to be having some guests joining me here at the NewsHour anchor desk in the coming weeks.

Tonight, it's Alison Stewart, who many of you will recognize from the weekend NewsHour.

Welcome, Alison.

ALISON STEWART (NewsHour):  Well, thank you, Judy.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  So, in our lead story tonight:  The 115th Congress is officially off and running, but House Republicans stumbled out of the gate on this opening day.

Lisa Desjardins begins our coverage.

LISA DESJARDINS (NewsHour):  For Republicans, day one of Congress and what they hope is a bright now era for their party started with old issues of internal dispute.

House Republicans overnight rebelled against Paul Ryan and other leaders to try and change a House ethics panel.  Then, this morning, they reversed course.  The proposed change was about the Independent Office of Congressional Ethics, or OCE, which reviews accusations.  It cannot punish members itself, but it can refer cases to the House Ethics Committee.

The proposed revision would have changed the office's name to Complaint Review and, more notably, would have stripped its independence, putting it under the control of the House Ethics Committee.

Today, some, like Iowa's Steve King, were dismayed that the measure was pulled.

REP.  STEVE KING (R-Iowa):  I think we should have gone forward.  And I'm going to push for the full disbandment and abolishment of the OCE, because they're based upon the wrong principles.  And no one should have to be subjected to public criticism that's generated by anonymous accusers.

LISA DESJARDINS:  But more Republicans, like outgoing Ethics Committee Chairman Charlie Dent, said the change would have been a mistake.

REP.  CHARLIE DENT (R-Penn.):  I thought it wasn't the right way to proceed.

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