At noon today the 115th Congress will be sworn in.
Overnight House Republicans voted to hobble the independent Office of Congressional Ethics in the name of due process for members and their staff suspected of criminal or unethical behavior.
Seeming to have forgotten high-profile cases that led to the creation of the office in 2008, the move seems brazen, craven, even traitorous. That the action was taken in the middle of the night without any Democrats present provides the flavor of what’s to come during the next two years.
The first order of business in the 115th Congress is expected to be repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, something House Republicans have voted to do scores of times since the bill became law. Members favoring the move appear to have no clue what to do about the political blow back such an action is expected to bring.
On Friday, Jan. 20, President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president but Trumpworld has already begun.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Later in the day, House Republicans abandoned proposed changes to the OCE. Media reports indicate there was a blizzard of negative public reaction directed at congressional offices once the secret meeting became public. Two positive things about this: the news media reported the story quickly, and public reaction was evidence that contacting one’s representative can move the needle on such egregious actions.