The majority of Colorado's Republican congressional delegation opposed a move to neuter an independent ethics office in a closed-door vote Monday.

Mike Coffman, Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn and Scott Tipton.
Denver Post file
Clockwise from top left: Mike Coffman, Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn and Scott Tipton.


House Republicans voted 119-74 to revamp and rename the Office of Congressional Ethics in a move that drew loud objections from Democratic lawmakers and even a complaint from President-elect Donald Trump, who expressed concern about the timing of the vote.

U.S. Reps. Ken Buck, Mike Coffman and Doug Lamborn all voted against the measure in the private House GOP meeting, according to their congressional offices. U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, has not yet disclosed how he voted.

The outcry about the move to place the ethics office under the control of lawmakers forced Republicans to backtrack Tuesday, voting unanimously in an emergency meeting to reverse course.

Before the about-face, Colorado's Republicans made their initial dissent clear as their offices were receiving a large volume of calls about the issue.

“I voted against this proposed change last night,” Lamborn posted on his official Facebook page Tuesday. “We must focus on more important issues facing USA like repealing #Obamacare, tax reform, rebuilding military readiness, helping our brave veterans, increasing domestic energy production, standing with our friend and ally Israel, and protecting our religious liberty and Second Amendment rights.”

Coffman echoed the sentiment in his own statement: "As representatives of the people, members of Congress are held to the highest of standards. I strongly oppose any unilateral changes to the Office of Congressional Ethics, and instead support a bipartisan independent system to assure fair and effective oversight and transparency in Congress."

Buck expressed a desire for changes if made in public.

“We do need reforms to strengthen the integrity of the ethics process, but those reforms should be made in a transparent way by passing a bill on the House floor," he said in a statement.