- Roll Call reports that “Despite public and private assurances by Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Trent Lott (R-Miss.), the Senate may not be able to wrap up work on the lobbying reform legislation it is preparing to take up today.”
- “Reps. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), the committee’s chairman and ranking member, respectively, met to discuss the panel’s direction shortly before the House left for the weeklong St. Patrick’s Day recess, and more talks are expected soon, GOP and Democratic sources say,” according to Roll Call. Those expected to come before the ethics committee includes Tom DeLay (R-TX), Bob Ney (R-OH), John Conyers (D-MI), Richard Pombo (R-CA), and Jim McDermott (D-WA).
- The Birmingham News reports that backers of earmarks are invoking U.S. law to show that earmarks are justified. Earmark supporters point to the U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 9 reads, “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law,” which also means, “Congress has the right to tailor the nation’s budgets as generally or as specifically as it chooses.” Spencer Bachus (R-AL) states, “Either a bureaucrat is going to make a decision how to spend it or your elected member of Congress.”