Tuesday saw the Republican U.S. House walk back the changes to the Ethics Office that had been approved the day before. Perhaps it was because of the behind-closed-doors secrecy, or maybe the timing at the opening of the 115th U.S. Congress. Maybe it was the words ethics office, or the swift and extremely negative headlines. Or maybe it was a negative tweet from the incoming president. Whatever it was, the proposed rules change was scrapped.
On Monday Politico was among the first to expose the move to change to ethics oversight, writing, “Despite a warning from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Republicans adopted a proposal by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to put the Office of Congressional Ethics under the jurisdiction of the House Ethics Committee.”
Late Monday as news leaked out, the headlines blared. The Washington Post blasted, House Republicans vote to rein in independent ethics office. The New York Times blasted, With No Warning, House Republicans Vote to Gut Independent Ethics Office. Politico’s headline shouted, House Republicans Gut Their Own Oversight. It was all over the TV news and social media.