House Just Says No to Reform:
The House has amended the lobbying and ethics reform bill currently under consideration and in the process turned it into a hollow shell. According to USA Today, the bill will not change gift giving policies, it will not change enforcement methods, it will not extend the lobbying ban by former members, and it only bans private travel until after the midterm elections. The Jack Abramoff scandal and the Duke Cunningham scandal have exposed serious flaws in the political/lobbying system in Washington and the House believes that they can do nothing about it. The bills supposed positive aspect is more disclosure however the House “dropped requirements that lobbyists specify which lawmakers and aides they have contacted; disclose their sponsorship of lavish parties for lawmakers at political conventions; and report their fundraising for candidates for federal office.” The Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) says that the bill will “rebuild the trust between Congress and the American public,” although I can’t see how.