Reform Hinges on Abramoff, K Street Already Roiled:
In light of opposition to some reforms by the newly elected Majority Leader and some in the Republican conference the reform effort will hinge on the speed of Abramoff’s finger pointing. According to the Washington Post’s K Street Confidential, if Abramoff quickly fingers lawmakers and indictments are filed then the reform effort will turn into a “bidding war” for the most stringent restrictions. The reform effort could stall and wind up being “slow-walked” through the committee process if Abramoff “dawdles” and takes his time in providing information to prosecutors. But despite the ambiguity of the future of reform in the Congress lobbyists are already feeling the burn of the current climate in Washington. Washington restaurants and the Washington Nationals baseball team are suffering as lobbyists no longer take lawmakers out for meals and are giving up their tickets to baseball games. Many on Capitol Hill fear an exodus of congressional staffers to K Street before Congress extends to two years the revolving door lobbying ban.