Senate Nears Lobbying Reform; Rejects Independent Ethics Oversight:


The Associated Press reports that, “senators are likely to give wide approval to the legislation that bans accepting meals from lobbyists, requires pre-approval of privately funded trips and slows the movement by retiring lawmakers to jobs as lobbyists,” in a vote that could come today. Government watchdog groups are unhappy, however, because the Senate rejected in a 67-30 vote an amendment to the bill that would create an independent ethics oversight office, according to the Washington Post. Today’s blogs also weighed in on the story. The Copeland Institute for Lower Learning provides a run-down of how senators voted. According to Captain’s Quarters, the Senate did approve an amendment proposed by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) that eliminates that practice of placing anonymous holds on legislation. Captain Ed, while praising the Wyden-Grassley amendment, pans the rest of the reform legislation, “Unfortunately, the rest of the bill looks like more warmed-over platitudes towards reform than the real item. The Senate soundly rejected a new independent ethics office and has moved to place most of the burden for reform on the lobbyists rather than themselves.”