On Capitol Hill, Republican senators backed down Tuesday from a plan to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics, following widespread outcry from the public. If the rule change had gone through, it would have been the very first move enacted by the new Republican-controlled Congress. But the effort quickly fell apart Tuesday, as lawmakers’ offices were inundated by calls from an angry public and President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter, calling the ethics office “unfair” but encouraging Republicans to “Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!” Today, Republicans are now slated to begin debating legislation to dismantle parts of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. With the 115th Congress now sworn in, Republicans outnumber Democrats 52 to 48 in the Senate and 241 to 194 in the House. This is House Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, speaking Tuesday about Congress’s Republican majority.
Speaker Paul Ryan: “And to the majority, especially to our returning members, I want to say this: This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is the kind of thing that most of us only dreamed about. I know because I used to dream about this a lot. The people have given us unified government, and it wasn’t because they were feeling generous. It was because they want results. How could we live with ourselves if we let them down? How could we let ourselves down?”