Scarborough: GOP restrictions on ethics watchdog ‘horrific’

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said Tuesday that Republicans made a poor decision by gutting the powers of an independent congressional ethics office.

“It’s a horrific misstep,” Scarborough said during Tuesday’s broadcast of “Morning Joe." "It’s just complete arrogance. This is just ridiculous.”

Scarborough's remarks come a day after House Republicans moved to adopt a proposal removing the Office of Congressional Ethics's (OCE) independence and establishing new limits on its powers. The move, which includes a ban on the OCE considering anonymous tips, was opposed by House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOn The Money: Senate confirms Gensler to lead SEC | Senate GOP to face off over earmarks next week | Top Republican on House tax panel to retire Trump faces test of power with early endorsements Lobbying world MORE (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

“[It is] their first act right out of the gate,” Scarborough said of the new GOP-led Congress. "Here, Republicans have complete power. This is what happens. Time and time again, a party takes control of power.”


Scarborough argued President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSt. Louis lawyer who pointed gun at Black Lives Matter protesters considering Senate run Chauvin found guilty as nation exhales US says Iran negotiations are 'positive' MORE should split with his own party and denounce potential changes to the OCE. Trump appeared to do exactly that Tuesday morning, questioning in tweets whether changes to the OCE should be the GOP's "number one act and priority."

“This seems like a great opportunity for the incoming president to show his independence, to show he wants to drain the swamp and immediately start hammering them on this,” said Scarborough, a former GOP representative from Florida.

Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteBottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself MORE (R-Va.) attached the amendment to a larger rules package being voted on Tuesday, the first day of the new Congress.

Goodlatte maintains his proposal would ensure due process rights for lawmakers, while some Democrats have already criticized his proposal for possibly impeding ethical oversight.