Help Us Count the Vote!

As I noted last night, the House GOP caucus just voted to kill the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (it loses its independence and now needs Congress’s permission to investigate anyone or report anything it finds). The vote is secret. But you can find out! Yes, you can! If you live in a district represented by a Republican member of Congress you can call their office and ask how they voted on the Goodlatte proposal. Here are the details of what happened. And here’s an example of how we did this the last time something like this happened back in 2004.

Call your Republican Rep. and ask how the member voted on the Goodlatte proposal. Remember, always be polite and courteous. You’re not speaking to the member. You’re more than likely speaking to a junior staffer who is just there to do their job. Being polite but firm is not only more effective it’s just the right thing to do.

Remember, Trump’s on-board with Ryan on this (even though Ryan nominally warned against the decision). Kellyanne Conway said this morning on GMA that ditching oversight was necessary because “there’s been an overzealousness in some of the processes over the years.”

As I wrote last night, the last time the GOP achieved unified Republican control in Washington, their first move was to loosen ethics oversight. First they pushed through the “DeLay Rule“, which allowed House leaders to stay in their leadership roles while under indictment. A couple months later, when putting through the rules for the new Congress (the same step that happened last night), they created another new rule which held that any question that deadlocked the Ethics Committee was automatically dismissed. In other words, unless a member of the party of the person being investigated was willing to support the investigation, it was automatically dismissed.

This is what happens when Republicans take over. Are there crooked Dems too? Absolutely. Rep. Bill Jefferson was the poster boy for that back in the era we’re discussing. But when the Democrats got unified control of the government in 2007, they did just the opposite. They created the Office the GOP just effectively killed.

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