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GOP caves and withdraws plan to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics after brutal backlash

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Republicans in Congress are backing away from their proposal to end the independence of the Office of Congressional Ethics after their originally passed plan turned into a public relations disaster.

The Republican-led House of Representatives drew a swift media backlash after news broke on Monday evening that it had voted to neuter the OCE’s powers to operate independently from the GOP-controlled House Ethics Committee.

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By Tuesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump questioned whether this should really be a priority for the incoming congress, although he did say that he sympathized with their desire to stop the “unfair” OCE from hounding them.

Shortly afterward, the House GOP had an emergency meeting in which they voted to cut the proposed rules changes by unanimous consent. However, Washington Post reporter Robert Costa says that this issue isn’t going away permanently, as many House Republicans want to “return to the issue soon” after the publicity surrounding the story has died down.

 

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2020 Election

$1,750+ ticket prices for South Carolina debate spark outrage

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"I think it speaks to the fundamental, endemic corruption of the Democratic Party establishment that you had to pay... multiple thousands of dollars to get into that room."

Unusually loud booing and jeering directed disproportionately at Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren during Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate—particularly when the senators criticized billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg—sparked probing questions about the class composition of the audience packed inside the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Ex-GOP senator hammers lawmakers quaking in their boots out of fear of Trump: ‘Why are you there?’

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Appearing on CNN on Wednesday morning, retired Sen. William Cohen (R-ME) hammered members of his own party still sitting in the Senate who refuse to take on Donald Trump, saying they are failing the country and themselves by standing by in fear.

Speaking with CNN hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto, Cohen said kowtowing to the president is nothing new, but has grown worse over the past ten years.

"Some of it has to do with external pressures, that of social media, talk radio, specific channels that have a particular view and then hammer that view home to the constituents who then pressure the members of Congress," he explained. "But you have to ask yourself: Why are you a senator? Why are you there? Are you acting out of sheer fear that if you speak up and take a position that's controversial you'll be punished?"

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Trump still has no set plan to combat coronavirus just hours before hastily called press conference set to begin: report

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President Donald Trump still has no set plan to combat the spread of coronavirus, just hours before he is set to hold a hastily-called 6 PM Wednesday press conference. According to Politico, Trump haas yet to decide whether or not to install a coronavirus czar to coordinate efforts, similar to how the Obama administration successfully staved off the spread of Ebola in 2014.

"Officials are still debating whether such a role is necessary, but the global spread has increased the urgency to elevate its response, and the Trump White House is eager to appear like it’s in control of containing the virus within the United States," Politico adds.

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