United Stated House Republicans were forced to back down on Tuesday on plans to throw out a congressional ethics office as Donald Trump rebuked them over the move, in an embarrassing clash with the president-elect on the day the new Congress was sworn in.
When Trump takes office on January 20, Republicans will run both chambers of Congress and the White House for the first time since 2007, having retained control of the Senate and House of Representatives in November's vote.
Emboldened Republican leaders are due to lay out an ambitious conservative agenda that includes cutting taxes, slashing regulations and repealing outgoing President Barack Obama's health care law.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Paul Ryan told lawmakers, after he was easily re-elected as House speaker on Tuesday.
The people have given us unified government -- and it wasn't because they were feeling generous, it was because they want results, Ryan said. How could we live with ourselves if we let them down?
The shift in presidential power will lift what has been a large White House road block against Republican action in Congress.
But as the new era dawned, it was Republicans who drew Trump's ire for seeking late Monday -- without participation by Democrats -- to hobble an independent ethics office which has investigated corruption allegations against members of Congress.
The move, severely criticized by Democrats and some Republicans as undermining transparency, was part of a rules package that the House was to vote on Tuesday.
Republicans scrapped the rules change after Trump took to Twitter Tuesday to publicly rebuke the strategy.
With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it may be, their number one act and priority, Trump tweeted.
Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!
Trump has expressed support for much of the Republican congressional agenda. But there are disagreements over the massive, US$1 trillion infrastructure investment plan that the populist president-elect has promised his constituents.
The coming weeks will also be dominated by the case of alleged Russian cyber attacks against the Democratic Party and a close aide to Hillary Clinton during the election campaign.