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While We’re Distracted with Holidays, GOP Hides Major Unconstitutional Assault on Our Freedoms

Republicans in Congress are preparing to launch such an unethical and unconstitutional assault on American freedoms, they decided it would be best if no one could call them on it.

They must have thought, “wouldn’t it be great if no one could stop us from our massive corruption and scandals?” They also decided it was best if they did it over a holiday weekend so no one would notice.

Everyone noticed.

The House GOP, overriding their top leaders, voted Monday to curtail the power of an independent ethics office set up in 2008 in the aftermath of several scandals that sent three Congressmen to jail.

The New York Times explains:
The move to effectively kill the Office of Congressional Ethics was not made public until late Monday, when Representative Robert W. Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced that the House Republican Conference had approved the change. There was no advance notice or debate on the measure.

The surprising vote came on the eve of the start of a new session of Congress, where emboldened Republicans are ready to push an ambitious agenda on everything from health care to infrastructure, issues that will be the subject of intense lobbying from corporate interests. The House Republicans’ move would take away both power and independence from an investigative body, and give lawmakers more control over internal inquiries.

“Poor way to begin draining the swamp,” Tom Fitton, president of the conservative group Judicial Watch, said on Twitter. He added, “Swamp wins with help of @SpeakerRyan, @RepGoodlatte.”

Mr. Goodlatte defended the action in a statement on Monday evening, saying it would strengthen ethics oversight in the House while also giving lawmakers better protections against what some of them have called overzealous efforts by the Office of Congressional Ethics.

“The O.C.E. has a serious and important role in the House, and this amendment does nothing to impede their work,” the statement said in part.

But Democrats in Congress do not agree about that last part, that this won’t impede the work of the O.C.E.

Representative Nancy Pelosi (D -Cal), the House minority leader, joined others who had helped create the office in their anger at the move and the secretive way it was conducted.

“Republicans claim they want to ‘drain the swamp,’ but the night before the new Congress gets sworn in, the House G.O.P. has eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions,” Ms. Pelosi said in a statement on Monday night. “Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress.”

And that’s a problem.  With a Republican majority in The House and The Senate, and a wealthy business man with a myriad of Conflicts of Interest headed to the Presidency, who knows what Republicans will be capable of in the next two years.

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