There is a new Republican sheriff in town, and his tweets are proving to be just as crippling to Republicans as they are to Democrats.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump would tweet out messages that left Democrats scrambling for cover. Trump sometimes would even take on the Republican establishment that opposed his candidacy, leaving some GOP legislators licking their wounds for taking on “The Donald.”
Now Trump’s recent tweet in opposition to the plan to scrap the Office of Congressional Ethics has all-but halted that endeavor by a few Republicans in its tracks.
Since the vote was private, Florida’s Republican members of Congress are not on the record of either supporting or not supporting the measure, but here is what some of them said:
“I opposed this measure from the very beginning, and I am glad to see that it will not have a place in the 115th Congress…I am confident that this House will continue to hold Members to the highest ethical standards, fully accountable to the people. The public’s trust must never be taken for granted.”–Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R)
“Vern did not attend the meeting last night when this change was approved, but he agrees with the decision to strip the language from the rules package because Congress should be focused on tax reform, fighting terrorism and improving the lives of ordinary Americans.”–Spokeswoman for Rep. Vern Buchanan (R)
“The Office of Congressional Ethics is in dire need of reform. Members of Congress must be held accountable to the highest standard in a process that is fair and just. I strongly believe the way to do this is in a bipartisan, open discussion through legislation, not through the rules package.”– Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R)
“I voted for Rep. Goodlatte’s amendment to improve and reorganize the renamed Office of Congressional Complaint Review (OCCR) because it includes much needed oversight and accountability from the House Ethics Committee…The reforms will allow for due process rights for all parties involved and will ensure a fair hearing as Members of Congress seek to better serve our constituents.”–Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R)
“Coming from a district that knows firsthand the impact corruption has on a community, Congressman Curbelo has always been committed to ensuring members of Congress are held accountable and allegations of misconduct are investigated seriously. “The Office of Congressional Ethics has not lived up to its stated mission and reforms are long overdue to strengthen its ability to take complaints from the public, complete independent investigations, and provide due process for those facing allegations of misconduct. The Congressman supports Speaker [Paul] Ryan’s commitment to protect the Office’s independence and he is dedicated to making sure that commitment is honored.”- Spokeswoman for Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R)
Curbelo also offered up this statement after the reversal:
“The House ethics process needs to be reformed in order to better investigate allegations of misconduct. I support referring this matter to the House Ethics committee where Republicans and Democrats can work together on bipartisan reforms that would ensure Members of Congress are held accountable while given due process to address accusations.”