Jack Abramoff

Ep. 34: GOP’s Ethics Debacle Could Keep Focus on Trump
The Week Ahead

House Republicans’ late night, closed-door effort to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics gave Democrats a winning messaging tool, says CQ Roll Call’s Money and Politics reporter Kate Ackley. The public relations debacle also could result in keeping the spotlight on President-elect Donald Trump’s perceived conflicts of interest, adds Editor Catalina Camia. Also, did you know that the ‘drain the swamp’ phrase popularized by Trump was first used by a leading Democrat?

Show Notes:

Bring Back the Earmarks — Really
Congress hasn't worked right since the earmark ban kicked in

The late Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, a peerless earmarker, admitted that the practice was dead after the tea party wave of 2010. (CQ/Roll Call file photo)

It’s become fashionable in the Trump era to say whatever’s on your mind, no matter how politically incorrect it might be. So here’s my contribution to the dialogue — Congress, you need to bring back earmarks. There, I said it, and you’re welcome, because I know you’re thinking the same thing.

Yes, it’s political suicide to say the words. An Economist/YouGov poll from earlier this year showed 63 percent of Americans still oppose earmarks, even though they’ve been prohibited in Congress for the last five years. House Republicans must understand the toxicity of the idea, because in their push to reinstitute some form of earmarking earlier this week, they tried to do it in a closed-door caucus meeting with a secret-ballot vote. That’s not a very hearty defense of the idea, so I’m going to make the case for them right here, in black and white.

Why 2016 Is No 2006 for the GOP
Republicans decline to attack Democrats on "Culture of Corruption"

Florida Rep. Corrine Brown, center, was indicted Friday on conspiracy and fraud charges related to an unregistered charity. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans are obsessed with one high-profile Democrat who isn’t going to be indicted — while giving a collective shrug after two Democratic House members have been indicted within the past 12 months.  

On Friday, Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida was indicted on conspiracy and fraud charges related to an unregistered charity. She announced she is temporarily stepping down as the ranking member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.