Trent Franks

House GOP backs down on ethics changes after widespread criticism

House GOP backs down on ethics changes after widespread criticism

A day of pageantry to open the 115th Congress and usher in a new period of Republican governance was overtaken Tuesday by an embarrassing reversal on ethics oversight, with the GOP gripped by internal division and many lawmakers seeking to shield themselves from extensive scrutiny.

The 19 hours of tumult was set in motion the night before behind closed doors at the Longworth House Office Building, where Republican lawmakers decided over the objections of Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to amend House rules to effectively gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics.

They awoke Tuesday to an intense public outcry. Social media lit up with criticism of representatives trying to...

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