WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has established new rules for the 115th Congress. Republicans jettisoned at the last minute a provocative proposal to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics after criticism. Changes in the rules package passed Tuesday include:
—Allowing Republican leaders to fine members who use electronic devices to take pictures or video from the House floor. The proposal comes six months after Democrats live-streamed a sit-in on the House floor for 26 hours to call attention to their demand for votes on gun control. Democrats never got a vote.
—Clarifying that a member will be referred to the Ethics Committee for disorderly conduct on the House floor during legislative proceedings, such as blocking access to microphones or the dais.
— Making it easier to sell or give away federal land by tweaking budget language to say that any such land conveyances don't have significant costs to the federal government.
—Making more House documents electronically accessible.
—Making it easier legislatively to reduce spending some in appropriations bills.
—Continuing a prohibition on lobbyists in private House gyms, even if they are former members.