Fake News About the Office of Congressional Ethicsby JOEL B. POLLAK
The mainstream media are abuzz with claims that House Republicans have voted to “gut” or “eviscerate” the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), or to strip it of its independence.
Perpetual House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) claimed Republicans had “eliminated” the oversight body, and linked the move to President-elect Donald Trump, claiming that the House Republicans’ move represents a violation of Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington.
The story qualifies as “fake news,” and the fact that it is being repeated by so many outlets does not make the it any less fake.
First of all, the change — voted on by Republicans on Monday as part of their larger rules package — has nothing to do with Trump. The House sets its own rules, and it would actually be an encroachment on the separation of powers for Trump to tell it to do otherwise. Furthermore, Republicans have been in control of the House since 2011 and have left the OCE alone.
What Republicans actually did was address two lingering criticisms of the OCE, which was created by Pelosi’s Democrats after they took the House in 2006 (and before she undermined her own promises to “drain the swamp” by taking advantage of her position to buy Visa stock, while softening regulation on credit card companies).
Read the article and draw your own conclusions.