Sean Spicer: House GOP Should Focus on ‘Greater and Far More Important’ Things

: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) answers questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol November 15, 2016 in Washington, DC.
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President-elect Donald Trump wants to see House Republicans doing a better job of focusing on priorities, according to Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer.

“He says that their focus should be on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things that are greater and far more important,” Spicer told reporters as he explained the President-elect’s tweet, adding:

It’s not a question of strengthen or weakening [the independent ethics panel], I think it’s a question of priorities and the President [elect] believes that with all that this country wants and needs to have happen, this relationship would be a priority of them and the level of corruption and issues they face. The focus should be on tax reform, healthcare, growing the economy and job creation.

Trump posted on Twitter early Tuesday morning, “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. Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!”

The measure supported by House Republicans would permit themselves to oversee the independent Office of Congressional Ethics.

CNN reports:

The proposal would bar the panel from reviewing any violation of criminal law by members of Congress, requiring that it turn over complaints instead to the House Ethics Committee or refer the matter to an appropriate federal law enforcement agency. The House Ethics Committee would also have the power to stop an investigation at any point and bars the ethics office from making any public statements about any matters or hiring any communications staff.

And the ethics office would no longer be able to accept or investigate any anonymous reports of alleged wrongdoing by members of Congress.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who has expressed several different positions than Trump during the 2016 election, defended the measure.

“After eight years of operation, many members believe the Office of Congressional Ethics is in need of reform to protect due process and ensure it is operating according to its stated mission,” Ryan stated. “I want to make clear that this House will hold its members to the highest ethical standards and the Office will continue to operate independently to provide public accountability to Congress.”

The full House will vote on the measure, which is part of a a rules package, on Tuesday, according to CNN.


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