“As a result, the first day of the 115th Congress served as a sort of beta test of how some Republicans will react when Trump sics his media power on them. If the most conservative flank tries to buck Trump on a pricey infrastructure deal, how will they handle the heat from Trump’s Twitter feed? If moderate Republicans try to block his moves on health care, will they withstand the heat if Trump goes to Breitbart to attack them by name?
On Tuesday the answer came fast: Run for cover.
“With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog . . . their number one act and priority,” Trump asked in a pair of tweets just after 10 a.m., adding that there were “so many other things of far greater importance.”
By 11:50 a.m., literally 10 minutes before the constitutionally mandated start of the new Congress, Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called an emergency meeting. Some Republicans piled into the meeting with their children in tow, there to see their mother or father sworn into another term in Congress.
The night before, by a large margin, House Republicans had approved an amendment to their new rules package for the 115th Congress that would have substantially impaled the investigative capabilities of the Office of Congressional Ethics — an independent body that was formed almost a decade ago after a raft of mostly Republican corruption cases landed in federal courthouses.
The OCE, as it is known, was meant to serve as a quasi-grand jury that would handle complaints from the public and tipsters, as well as reviewing media stories of potentially corrupt acts. If there’s a high likelihood an infraction occurred, it gets referred to the House Ethics Committee, which is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats and has full subpoena power and can mete out punishment.
Lawmakers in both parties have seen the OCE as overly zealous at times, and there have been previous calls to rein in the team of former federal prosecutors who have overseen it the past nine years.”
How about that for priorities?
Day one and they are at it already
Guess I should use my surprise face , Huh?