Public Outrage, Not Trump's Tepid Rebuke, Upends GOP Attack on Ethics Panel

September 30, 2020 0 By HearthstoneYarns

Following an overnight public relations disaster that followed a Republican Party vote to eviscerate the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, GOP lawmakers made an abrupt u-turn on Tuesday by withdrawing the reform proposal before a final vote on a package of rules that will guide the new legislative session.

In the wake of the development, many news outlets (ex. here, here, here) reported that it was a two-part tweet sent out by President-elect Donald Trump that may have compelled the Republicans to change course.

But despite the high-profile tweets, it was certainly unclear what role, if any, Trump had on the decision. As The Hill pointed out, even “before Trump weighed in, a barrage of negative headlines and public outcry made it difficult for Republicans to stand by the measure.”

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And filmmaker Michael Moore—who earlier in the day had posted a message on Facebook urging consituents to call and admonish their Republican representatives for moving to gut the ethics watchdog—was among those celebrating the idea that it was public pressure, not Trump’s social media foray, which had upended the Republicans:

Moore also critized outlets for so quickly giving Trump credit for Tuesday’s turnaround: