In it, but not of it. TPM DC

After a fierce public backlash, the House GOP reversed course and withdrew the rules change that would have gutted the Office of Congressional Ethics, according to members who were present at the emergency GOP meeting mid-day Tuesday.

The amendment, put forward by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), that would have significantly hobbled the Office of Congressional Ethics was approved overwhelmingly by the GOP caucus Monday night in a closed-door meeting, but was meet with swift public outcry. The provision would have put the office under the control of the House Ethics Committee, reducing its independence, and would have blocked some of its other powers, including its abilities to accept anonymous tips and to report suspected crimes directly to law enforcement.

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House Republicans are holding an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss a changes they made Monday to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, according to a Republican congressional aide.

The change – which was included in a comprehensive rules package– would change the way the OCE is governed and would largely nullify the independent body's power and put it under the control of the congressionally run House Ethics Committee.

The change was highly controversial, with 74 Republicans actually voting against it.

The rules change faced incredible backlash Monday night and early Tuesday with Republican President-elect Donald Trump even tweeting Tuesday that he thought Republicans had better things to do.

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Chief Justice John Roberts requested on Tuesday that a response be filed to an emergency request by North Carolina late last month that the 2017 special elections ordered by a federal court be put off as the case that prompted them -- a major racial gerrymandering lawsuit -- is appealed.

The move Tuesday was a fairly minor procedural move by Roberts, who oversees the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals where North Carolina resides, but the emergency request suggests an attempt to put off special elections where Republicans risk losing seats with the redrawn districts. The state officials' legal moves are also part of a series of last-ditch efforts by North Carolina Republicans to undermine incoming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

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There's very little Democrats can do to kneecap President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet picks as confirmation hearings kick into gear later this month—and Trump knows it.

His will be the first Cabinet sworn in since Democrats went nuclear in 2013 and did away with the filibuster, which used to require 60 votes for confirmation of most presidential nominees. That change may have fundamentally changed the way the Cabinet nomination process is working, and congressional experts say the loss of the filibuster even may have influenced Trump's selection of nominees.

"For a typical president, knowing that there is at least that risk of a filibuster ...would have at least something of a tempering effect on who you nominate," Eric Schickler, a professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley, told TPM. "What we're seeing with Trump, he's obviously chosen to nominate some people who are pretty far out there and his ability to succeed with that is higher in a world without the filibuster."

Indeed, Trump has been emboldened to choose an unorthodox roster of Cabinet nominees, many of whom have little relevant government experience.

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A divided federal appeals court panel on Thursday greenlit the next steps in considering an effort launched by outside Obamacare defenders to intervene in an lawsuit targeting a provision of the Affordable Care Act.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an order requesting that the dueling parties in the lawsuit, the Obama administration and the House GOP, file responses to a request from two Obamacare enrollees to intervene in the case, House v. Burwell. The move suggests that the court is likely to make a decision as to whether the Obamacare enrollees may take over the defense of the law if the Justice Department backs down from its appeal of the case under Donald Trump. House Republicans had previously asked the court to reject the enrollees' request to consider their intervention.

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Republicans in Congress are waiting with bated breath for the moment when they pass a repeal of the Affordable Care Act in 2017 and President-elect Donald Trump goes to sign it, but it's their colleagues back in their home states that may have the most to lose from scrapping the law.

The repeal plans congressional Republicans have floated wouldn't likely take effect until 2019 or 2020. But already, governors and state legislatures are voicing concerns that repealing the ACA may leave millions of people uninsured, as well as take away some of the mechanisms that helped their states drastically slash their uninsured rates.

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