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Under intense criticism, House GOP backtracks on gutting ethics watchdog

In an emergency conference meeting Tuesday, House Republicans unanimously agreed to back off plans to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). The reversal came less than a day after House Republicans voted 119-74 in a closed-door meeting to strip the independent ethics panel, tasked with investigating House scandal and corruption, of its powers.

President-elect Donald Trump was publicly critical of the move, tweeting Tuesday that "as unfair" as the independent ethics committee may be, Congress should reconsider making that its "number one act and priority" amid "so many other things of far greater importance."

The GOP indicated it will revisit rule changes to the OCE at a later date.