In a late night, private conference vote, Speaker Paul Ryan and Congressional Republicans voted to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, the independent watchdog organization that oversees the behavior and actions of and investigates criminal conduct by members of Congress.
"In November's election, the voters made it clear that they wanted to end corruption and drain big money from our nation's politics. Instead of listening to the will of the people, Republicans decided their very first move would be to remove incredibly important oversight of their actions in Congress," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning on Tuesday. "This isn't draining the swamp. This is adding more sludge to a swamp already filled with influence from wealthy special interests and huge corporations."
The Office of Congressional Ethics, created in 2008 after a series of scandals involving members of Congress, is designed to ensure accountability and transparency in the U.S. Congress, and without it, members of Congress lack proper oversight.
"The American people are fed up with being sold promises to end corruption, only to see lawmakers do the exact opposite once they get into office. So, the question facing many Wisconsinites today is if any of our state's Republican lawmakers voted to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics," said Laning. "Wisconsinites deserve to know if Rep. Duffy, Rep. Sensenbrenner, Rep. Grothman, or Rep. Gallagher feel that they should not be accountable to their constituents and voted to remove important oversight of Congress."
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