Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives met behind closed doors on Monday night and voted to impose significant restrictions on the office that’s supposed to police them.
The plan has since been cancelled, but we thought it would be worth knowing how Colorado’s representatives stood on the controversial proposal. Three of four Republicans opposed the measure, according to their offices, and we’re waiting on an answer from Rep. Scott Tipton.
The plan was introduced in a closed-door Republican meeting on Monday, which means the initial votes on it were not recorded for the public. Republicans at that meeting voted 119-74 in favor of the idea, CNN reported.
The proposed change met public uproar and even criticism from President-elect Donald Trump. (Trump tweeted that the Office of Congressional Ethics may be “unfair,” but questioned why it was a priority.)
If the move had been approved, it would have given elected officials significant power over OCE, which was created in 2008. For example, a House committee would have had the power to end any OCE investigation, OCE would be barred from talking about its own findings, OCE would be forbidden from taking anonymous tips and more.
How they say they voted:
Only Republicans voted on the original measure, so we only called Republicans.
Rep. Mike Coffman, representing Aurora and other points on Denver’s eastern flank, voted against the changes, according to spokesman Daniel Bucheli.
“He supports a bipartisan, independent system that ensures fair and effective oversight and transparency,” Bucheli said. In a written statement, Coffman said he opposed “unilateral” changes.
Rep. Ken Buck, representing much of eastern Colorado, also opposed the changes, according to spokesman Kyle Huwa.
“There may need to be some reforms to strengthen the integrity oft he ethics process, but those reforms should be made in a transparent way, with a bill on the House floor,” Huwa said.
Rep. Doug Lamborn, representing the Colorado Springs area, also voted against the changes, according to his Twitter account and a staffer at his office.
Still waiting on:
I called the office of Rep. Scott Tipton, who represents much of the Western Slope. I was referred to communications director Liz Payne, whom I emailed at 12:08 p.m. today. I had not received an answer as of 1 p.m.
The Sunlight Foundation’s crowdsourced count of the votes reports that Tipton’s office “won’t answer.” We will update if they do.