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House Republicans’ Plan To Strip Office Of Congressional Ethics Of Its Power Backfires

In a surprise move, House Republicans on Monday voted to strip the Office of Congressional Ethics of its power with no notice. After Democrats, government watchdog groups, and even President-Elect Donald Trump criticized the move, Republicans reversed course.




In a surprise move, House Republicans on Monday voted to strip the Office of Congressional Ethics of its power with no notice. After Democrats, government watchdog groups, and even President-Elect Donald Trump criticized the move, Republicans reversed course. But the move shows a concerning chism between what Mr. Trump promised voters and what House Republicans are actually pursuing. Should Republican voters be worried? What exactly is the OCE and why would House Republicans want it gone?

What Do House Republicans Have Against The OCE?

On Monday, House Republicans voted to essentially remove any teeth from the Office of Congressional Ethics. On Tuesday, those same politicians backtracked and halted their plans. However, the damage was done. On the first day of a new congress, this seems like a particularly odd move. But what’s more odd is that the incoming Republican president, Donald Trump, publicly rebuked them for it.

What is the Office of Congressional Ethics?

Put simply, the OCE is an eight-person, independent office of former members of congress, lawyers, and others founded in 2008 to review allegations of misconduct against House members, officers, and staff. The OCE makes recommendations to the House Ethics Committee, and its reports and findings are almost always publicly released. It’s the first independent body to have an oversight role in House ethics and has no Senate counterpart. No current members of congress may belong to the OCE.

House Republicans voted to implement new rules, which stated the OCE would not have been allowed to receive anonymous tips, investigate criminal activity, or share its findings with the public or even other branches of government. The new rules would have made sure the OCE had no ability whatsoever to conduct an independent investigation of potential wrongdoing by members of Congress.

Thankfully, Republicans backed off the move after Trump tweeted that it’s a bad move. But considering Trump promised to “drain the swamp” and clean up corruption and influence peddling in Washington, the move seems like a huge disconnect between the incoming president and his congress. What’s even more of a disconnect is that one of Trump’s top aides, Kellyanne Conway, defended House Republicans, saying the move was necessary for significant change.

What she didn’t mention is that there are multiple House Republicans currently under investigation by the OCE. At least six lawmakers are being investigated stemming from complaints that started under the OCE, including the fourth highest-ranking House Republican, Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Get more info about their self-policing intentions right here, thanks to Freedom Of Press

For now, the OCE stays intact as it is, but it’s a scary thought that on day one, a new congress is looking to remove any independent oversight. Thankfully, Mr. Trump put a stop to that. One thing is certain, and that is that the next four years should be interesting.

Get last Friday’s business news right here. 

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Featured image via The Atlantic

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    January 4, 2017 at 4:54 PM

    Simply put, the alligators were trying to take the teeth out of the bite of the one agency that can help Trump drain their swamp… Nice try, now behave or else.

  2. Pingback: Monday 1/9/2017: Sneak Peek at the Week; Mercury Direct; Meryl Streep, Right on Schedule

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American Firms Keep Hiring, Easing Worries of Weakening Economy

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The unemployment rate is “now at a half-century low of 3.5%” – this matches the lowest jobless rate since 1969 – and economists have also given a warning that hiring would soon slow because there are fewer unemployed workers. However, in November, employers added 266,000 jobs – the highest number since January. Monthly hiring has averaged 205,000 for the past three months.

Associated Press reported that “Friday’s jobs report largely squelched fears of a recession that had taken hold in the summer. Steady job growth has helped reassure consumers that the economy is expanding and that their jobs and incomes remain secure.”

President Trump tried to focus voter’s attention on the state of the economy instead of his impeachment inquiry. Trump even tweeted “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!”

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Could Trump’s Tariffs Hurt The U.S. Economy?




Could Trump’s Tariffs Hurt The U.S. Economy

About a year ago, the media was talking about how Trump’s trade wars could negatively affect many industrial companies, the agricultural sector, and right down to the every day American worker.

The recent stats from Gross Domestic Product has now revealed the current reality of Trump’s multiple front trade war.

Data shows that imports increased, while exports decreased by over 5%. Business investments have declined by 0.6%, and this decline has been happening since 2016. Most North American corporate capital spending is also on a declining trend.

Trumps’s tax reform was short-lived for most American companies. We did not get many benefits from the trade tensions either. U.S. corporate debt is getting much worse and far more significant than household debt.

Many are speculating that the cutting interest rates will lead to more zombie companies that will threaten both the U.S. and global economy.

Click here to learn more.

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CryptoRuble | Cryptocurrency in Russia




What do you get when you implement cryptocurrency in Russia? Cryptoruble! Read on to find out how Russian cryptocurrency is doing.

CryptoRuble | Cryptocurrency in Russia

Russia’s Pivot Toward a Pro Cryptocurrency Policy

Prior to the great boom which propelled Bitcoin over $7,000, both Russian bankers and politicians alike voiced their conflicting opinions and hesitancy toward the cryptocurrency.

Vladimir Putin called for tighter regulation of cryptocurrencies only a month prior to his speech where he touched on nurturing the new technology, while authoritative bankers compared cryptocurrencies to Ponzi schemes.

At one time, a proposal was made that would punish those owning bitcoin with up to seven years in jail for a violation.

Recently however, these antagonistic statements from central banks and the Kremlin have pivoted with a series of official announcements that would strengthen Russia’s position as a possible focal point for the impending and inescapable cryptocurrency revolution. The major impetus for this considerable change in rhetoric is demanded from people all over the world for digital cash as instruments of investment, payment, and more. The people’s demand hasn’t fallen on deaf ears in Russia.

But the Russian elite have answered the people’s call in a uniquely Russian way.

To everyone’s surprise, President Putin, in late October of 2017, announced his support for cryptocurrency in Russia and subsequently ordered legislation that would put into place infrastructure for its national adoption.

Unique legal frameworks has since been conceived for the taxation of cryptocurrency mining, regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs), developing blockchain technology in business, and establishing a far-reaching system of payment for Russian citizens.

Perhaps, the most astonishing statement given by President Putin’s was his announcement that Russia intends to form a digital crypto rendition of the ruble termed the ‘CryptoRuble’. The CryptoRuble is supposed to be interchangeable with the ruble on a 1:1 ratio. Quite dissimilar to other more ‘traditional’ forms of cryptocurrencies, the CryptoRuble will not be able to be mined and will be exclusively issued by the Russia’s central bank. This kind of approach is distinctly Russian, and is based on years of meticulous observation of how various forms of cryptocurrency has previously affected other countries.

This Russian model cedes some economic freedoms for government control, while still preserving and incorporating the technology’s primary advantages.

Additionally, an unchangeable ledger will make citizen cash flows transparent to the government and help stem fraud and corruption. In theory, it should also help to bring down walls of previous systems plagued by middlemen.

CryptoRuble income is expected to be taxed at a rate of 13 percent for those wo’re unable to provide a legitimate source for it. Not only is this an attempt at preventing corruption, but it’s also a way the Russian government can profit from it.

Russian leadership is likely to remain watchful of any new methods they can use to achieve a competitive edge in international politics, finance and trade.

Cryptocurrency seems to be one of the most likely channels for increased influence across borders; thus, Russia’s pivot toward a pro-crypto policy stance is quite logical.

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