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反对声中,众院共和党放弃限制道德办公室计划

更新时间:2017-1-4 19:34:57 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

House Republicans, Under Fire, Back Down on Gutting Ethics Office
反对声中,众院共和党放弃限制道德办公室计划

WASHINGTON — House Republicans, facing a storm of bipartisan criticism, including from President-elect Donald J. Trump, moved early Tuesday afternoon to reverse their plan to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. It was an embarrassing turnabout on the first day of business for the new Congress, a day when party leaders were hoping for a show of force to reverse policies of the Obama administration.

华盛顿——周二下午早些时候,面对包括候任总统唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)在内的两党成员铺天盖地的指责,众议院共和党议员着手取消限制国会道德办公室(Office of Congressional Ethics)权限的计划。在新一届国会开始办公的第一天,这是一个令人尴尬的转变。这一天,共和党领袖本希望展示逆转奥巴马政府多项政策的实力。

The reversal came less than 24 hours after House Republicans, meeting in a secret session, voted, over the objections of Speaker Paul D. Ryan, to eliminate the independent ethics office. It was created in 2008 in the aftermath of a series of scandals involving House lawmakers, including three who were sent to jail.

在这一逆转出现的不到24个小时前,众议院共和党议员举行秘密会议,并不顾众议院议长保罗·D·瑞安(Paul D. Ryan)的反对,投票决定对独立的道德办公室进行限制。该办公室是2008年出现一系列涉及联邦众议员的丑闻后成立的。其中三名议员入狱。

Republicans, led by Representative Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia, had sought to prevent the quasi-independent ethics office from taking up investigations that might involve criminal charges, and they wanted to grant lawmakers on the more powerful House Ethics Committee the right to shut down any of the inquiries. They also wanted to block the small staff at the Office of Congressional Ethics from speaking to the news media.

以弗吉尼亚州众议员罗伯特·W·古德拉特(Robert W. Goodlatte)为首的共和党人试图限制半独立的道德办公室开展可能涉及刑事指控的调查,并希望授予位列权力更大的众议院道德委员会(House Ethics Committee)的议员叫停任何这类调查的权利。他们还希望阻止国会道德办公室规模有限的工作人员向新闻媒体发声。

“It has damaged or destroyed a lot of political careers in this place, and it’s cost members of Congress millions of dollars to defend themselves against anonymous allegations,” Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, said on Tuesday, still defending the move.

“它伤害甚至摧毁了这里很多人的政治生涯,导致国会议员花费数百万美元就匿名指控为自己辩护,”艾奥瓦州共和党众议员斯蒂芬·金(Stephen King)周二说。他仍在为该举动辩护。

But the resolve to curb the powers of the Office of Congressional Ethics crumbled Tuesday morning, as hundreds of phone calls flooded lawmakers’ offices and both conservative and liberal ethics groups issued statements condemning the move. So did some Republican lawmakers, who said it was the wrong message to send to the public.

但周二上午,制约国会道德办公室权力的决定成了泡影。议员办公室接到数百个电话,保守派和自由派道德伦理团体纷纷发表声明,谴责这一举动。部分共和党议员也采取了类似的举措。他们说,这是在向公众传递错误的信息。

“It was a stumble,” Representative Mark Sanford, Republican of South Carolina, who himself was the subject of an ethics investigation while he served as governor in South Carolina. “Probably not the way you want to start out.”

“这么做是错的,”南卡罗来纳州共和党众议员马克·桑福德(Mark Sanford)说道。在担任南卡罗来纳州州长期间,他也曾是一起道德调查案的对象。“恐怕不是你想要的样子。”

Mr. Trump had weighed in himself, suggesting that the House should instead be focused on domestic policy priorities. In a pair of postings on Twitter, Mr. Trump called the Office of Congressional Ethics “unfair,” but he said turning attention to it now was a case of misplaced priorities. He appended the hashtag “DTS,” an apparent allusion to his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington.

特朗普本人也发表了自己的看法,建议众议院把重点放在国内的首要政策上。在两条推文中,特朗普称国会道德办公室“有失公正”,但表示此时把注意力转移到它上面的做法是本末倒置。他还给推文加上了“DTS”的标签,显然指的是他要在华盛顿“抽干沼泽”的承诺。

Mr. Ryan and Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority leader, had made clear as of Monday that they were also opposed to the ethics office’s powers. On Tuesday, Mr. McCarthy said he broadly agreed with Mr. Trump’s message position, which seemed to focus more on the timing of taking up the ethics issue rather than the substance of the complaints about it.

到周一的时候,瑞安和加利福尼亚州众议员、多数党领袖凯文·麦卡锡(Kevin McCarthy)曾明确表示,他们也反对道德办公室的权力。周二,麦卡锡称他总体上同意特朗普的推文表达的立场。该立场似乎更注重解决道德问题的时机,而非对它的抱怨是否扎实。

“Those are the same arguments I made last night in conference,” he said, adding that he and Mr. Ryan did not have the power to simply tell other Republican members what to do.

“我昨晚在会上也是这么说的,”他说,并接着表示他和瑞安无权告诉其他共和党成员该怎么做。

“Welcome back,” he joked, referring to the start of the new session of Congress on Tuesday. Even at home, he said, “I usually don’t win what we watch on TV.”

“欢迎回来,”他开玩笑说,指的是周二新国会周期的开始。即使在家里,他说,“我通常也决定不了看什么电视节目。”

Since it first started to take up cases in 2009, the Office of Congressional Ethics — which has a budget of just $1.4 million and a staff of nine, including five lawyers — has provoked criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, particularly lawmakers like former Representative Mel Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, and Representative Sam Graves, Republican of Missouri, who say it treated them unfairly during investigations.

自2009年首次开始受理案件以来,国会道德办公室——仅有140万美元(约合970万元人民币)的预算和九名员工,其中包括五名律师——引发了民主党人和共和党人的指责,尤其是前北卡罗来纳州民主党众议员梅尔·瓦特(Mel Watt)和密苏里州共和党众议员萨姆·格雷夫斯(Sam Graves)等议员。他们自称在调查期间受到了该办公室的不公正对待。

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