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Fines for members who take pictures from the House floor, and other new rules

Members of the House of Representatives, some joined by family, gathered in the House chamber.
Members of the House of Representatives, some joined by family, gathered in the House chamber. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is establishing new rules for the 115th Congress. Republicans jettisoned at the last minute a controversial proposal to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics after criticism. Proposed changes in the rules package 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.

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—Making more House documents electronically accessible.

—Making it easier to reduce spending in appropriations bills.

—Continuing a prohibition on lobbyists in private House gyms, even if they are former members.