Congressional Offices Enforce Own Ethics Rules:


Numerous congressional offices are internally implementing their own strict rules governing staffer-lobbyist contacts. House Energy and Commerce Committee aides are told to avoid “not just lunches and dinners with lobbyists but any lobbyist-sponsored reception.” Members of Congress Pete Sessions (R-TX), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), and Jerry Weller (R-IL) are all restricting staffers from accepting gifts from lobbyists. A Weller spokesman states, “No more lobbyist gifts, of any shape, size or variety, until the House enacts whatever reform it’s going to enact. That includes a cup of coffee, Tortilla Coast [a Hill restaurant], you name it.”