Republicans Clash over Ethics and Lobbying Reform:


“We need to bring about bold, strong reform,” Rules Chairman David Drier (R-CA) declared despite the Republican leadership’s plan to “indefinitely shelve the Senate bill tightening lobbying law” and Republican opposition to many aspects of a reform package. The Los Angeles Times reports that many rank-and-file House Republicans are upset over a proposed ban on private travel and restrictions on earmarks. The disunion over ethics and lobbying reform has also split the leadership. The Hill reports that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) “erupted at Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) because he thought the newly elected majority leader was dragging his feet on lobbying reform.” Boehner has opposed the private travel ban proposed by Drier and Hastert in the wake of the Cunningham and Abramoff guilty pleas. Lobbying and ethics reform “has created significant tension within the leadership” as “[r]ank-and-file members have tried to play leaders off each other”.