House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday he objected to the timing of an overhaul to the House’s independent ethics office, but that there will still be recourse for the public and that headlines on the issue have been misleading.
“I didn’t think it was the right time to do it,” Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I thought it’s something that both parties should take up at the same time.”
In a move Democrats have forcefully opposed, House Republicans on Monday pushed to change the independent ethics office that oversees House members to give lawmakers control of it through the ethics committee.
Mr. McCarthy said that the public can still register a complaint against a congressional member, which would be investigated and moved to the ethics committee.
“When you really sit down and read the reforms, it’s not what all the headlines are saying, and that’s the problem with doing it in the manner of what’s going forward today,” he said.
Mr. McCarthy said he will be supporting the broader rules package that includes the ethics item. The full House will have a chance to vote on the package Tuesday as a new Congress is sworn in.
“I don’t want to put politics with it. That’s why I thought this wasn’t the best time to go forward with it,” he said. “But the reforms do not change the entity.”
“The public still registers a complaint. They still do the work with the ethics review, and it still goes forward to ethics, whether they should dismiss it or review it,” Mr. McCarthy said. “Same thing before as today.”