Pointing out that there are many, many more important things to look into first, President-Elect Donald trump took to Twitter to send a clear message to Congressional leaders that his comments about "draining the swamp" in Washington is more than a campaign promise to be discarded once in office.

Ethics not a big Republican priority

With all the things which the country needs and which the Republican platform as well as President-Elect Trump have made priorities what turns out to be the very first action taken by the Republicans in the House of Representatives?

If you follow U.S. politics even a little, you probably guessed that the very first move in The House was to weaken ethics oversight, in particular the non-partisan, independent ethics watchdog which keeps an eye on the ethical missteps of members of Congress in both parties.

Not happy with Trump

The Republicans who were celebrating the fact that they now had control over all branches of government may be giving that idea a big second thought with Mr. Trump already expressing his displeasure with the way Congress has set its initial goal completely gutting the independent House Office of Congressional Ethics.

Voting to block the ability of the office which investigates both Democratic and Republican member ethics to communicate with the press effectively makes it a totally meaningless office since Congress, which is totally under the control of Republicans, can block any report criticizing Republicans while passing along any ethics office findings related to Democrats.

Bad start for Congress

With things like health care, tax policy, and other priorities for a Congress which has done little but block legislation for 8 years, so much is in desperate need of Congressional attention it sends a really strong message that their very first move is to make it impossible to see if they are acting unethically - the quintessential swamp which President-Elect Trump promised to drain.

Great start for Trump

But just a few hours after the House Republicans made their move to legally cover up any ethical scandals they don’t want publicized, President-Elect Trump tweeted, “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” and “may be, their number one act and priority.

Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!”

Given the limits of a twitter message that is very strong language and shows that the President-Elect is not happy with his own Republican Congress. It is also a strong indication that he may really mean what he said about "draining the swamp."


This is the mission statement of the Office of Congressional Ethics which is made up of Democrats, Republicans, and independents:

“The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) of the U.S. House of Representatives is an independent, non-partisan entity charged with reviewing allegations of misconduct against Members, officers, and staff of the U.S. House of Representatives and, when appropriate, referring matters to the House Committee on Ethics.”