Politics & Government

Thompson’s vote on ethics change unclear

It’s unclear whether U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township, voted for or against an ethics change that would have weakened the power of an independent congressional ethics board.
It’s unclear whether U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township, voted for or against an ethics change that would have weakened the power of an independent congressional ethics board. Centre Daily Times, file

It’s unclear whether U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township, voted for or against an ethics change that would have weakened the power of an independent congressional ethics board.

U.S. House Republicans voted 119-74 behind closed doors Monday to give lawmakers themselves ultimate control over the Office of Congressional Ethics, which was created in 2008 to investigate allegations of lawmaker misconduct, according to the Associated Press.

The ethics change was going to be part of a rules package that the full House of Representatives voted on Tuesday, according to the AP.

After criticism from not only Democrats but also President-elect Donald Trump, Republican lawmakers reversed their decision, according to the AP.

“During consideration of the rules that will govern the House for the 115th Congress, an amendment was offered to decrease the duplicative functions of the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, and the member-led House Committee on Ethics. After debate within the Republican Conference, the amendment was not included in the rules package and therefore was never subject to a vote on the House floor,” Thompson’s Communications Director Renee Gamela said in a statement.

“While Mr. Thompson believes that every member should have an opportunity to offer their thoughts on how the House should operate, ultimately he believes oversight, transparency and accountability take precedent,” the statement said.

When asked for clarification on how Thompson voted on the ethics change during the private session Monday, Thompson’s office did not respond by press time.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

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