Lauren Fox

Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.

Articles by Lauren

On Monday night, in a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill a handful of Republican members rose and told their stories about how the Office of Congressional Ethics had personally hurt them.

"Some really good people have been hurt," Rep. Peter King (R-NY) recounted later.

"One member talked about how ... it costs his staffer $30,000 and it cost him $60,000 and they did nothing wrong. They were found innocent, but at the end of the day, it cost," said Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), describing the meeting. "Many felt very passionately about it especially those who were found to have done nothing wrong."

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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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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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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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