Reversal on Ethics Right Thing to Do

Apparently it was not only Democrats who didn’t get the message on Nov. 8. Some Republican leaders in Congress may have missed what voters were saying, too.

On Monday, GOP leaders in the House of Representatives moved to weaken the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. They did so because of complaints — from lawmakers of both parties — that the office had targeted them over relatively inconsequential issues.

Democrats were delighted to complain about the ethics panel plan. It showed Republicans are eager to dismantle mechanisms intended to keep lawmakers honest, they claimed.

Not really. Even with the change, ample safeguards would have remained in place.

President-elect Donald Trump reportedly went to his party’s rescue, urging GOP lawmakers to keep the ethics agency in place, as is. They were wise to follow his advice.

If there was an overriding theme of the Nov. 8 election, it was that many voters don’t trust anyone in Washington. Giving them reason to believe they are right would have been a serious error.


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