President-elect Donald Trump is criticizing Republicans in Congress for passing a rule to weaken the Congressional Independent Ethics panel.
Instead, Trump suggests lawmakers should get to work on other priorities.
“With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it. may be, their number one act and priority,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!”
Trump’s message fuels criticism Republicans faced after changing the rules of the ethics panel, removing its independent authority to investigate members of Congress.
But Trump described the independent panel as “unfair,” giving Republicans some wiggle room for their rule changes.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly opposed the rule changes, even as a majority of their Republican colleagues imposed the changes.
Democrats quickly seized on the changes as proof that Republicans were trying to escape ethical accountability.
“Republicans claim they want to ‘drain the swamp,’ but the night before the new Congress gets sworn in, the House GOP has eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress.”