Senate Passes Lobbying Reform; Bill Moves to House:


By a vote of 90-8 the Senate approved a lobbying reform bill that is being both praised and criticized from both sides of the aisle, according to the Washington Post. Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) declares, “This legislation contains very serious reform.” One of the eight ‘nay’ voters, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), begged to differ, “It’s extremely weak.” The most notable ‘nay’ votes came from the strongest proponents of reform: Senators Barack Obama (D-IL), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Russ Feingold (D-WI), and McCain. The other four votes came from James Inhofe (R-OK), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Kerry (D-MA), and Jim DeMint (R-SC). Roll Call reported that Obama, the Democratic point man on reform was very unhappy, “Given that Mr. Abramoff just got five years in the pokey, the notion that this is the best we can do doesn’t make any sense.” Sen. Chris Dodd, a chief sponsor of the bill, sounded triumphant proclaiming in the New York Times, “There’s a sign that’s now up in front of the Capitol. It says ‘Not for Sale.’” Later, he admitted that the bill does not include “true meaningful campaign finance reform that breaks the link between the legislative favor seekers and the free flow of special interest private money.” Coburn made the best analogy, “You can wash the outside of the cup all you want. If the inside is still unclean, you’re going to have the same problems.”