Rank and file Republicans decided to start the new Congress by weakening the ethics independent commission, by removing all the teeth it had. This came in 2008 to bring an independent body to look at corruption in Congress.
The optics are terrible, and not only the president-elect struck, but also the Democrats, and likely Congressional leadership. Here is Leader Stenny Hoyer full statement as well.
“I am deeply concerned by House Republicans’ decision in the dead of night to strip away the independence of the Office of Congressional Ethics. Trust in our institutions, including Congress, is already at record lows. House Republicans could have found willing partners among Democrats to increase transparency and renew faith in government through bipartisan action, including making possible improvements to the Office of Congressional Ethics and the way Congress polices itself and maintains the highest standards of integrity among its Members. Instead they chose this shameful move, which is an indication of their priorities for the new Congress. When House Republicans take steps to decrease accountability and make it harder to reveal unethical behavior, the public ought to question why. House Democrats will continue to fight for the strongest possible ethical standards for our nation’s elected leaders.”
If nothing else, this is a chaotic beginning to the new session of Congress. The leadership will allow the vote, but they know how bad the optics are. One more thing, rank, and file Republicans were counting on most Americans not knowing this body actually exists. They knew that if Donald Trump tweeted about it, we would all be speaking about it.