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Tag Archive: David Dreier

Republicans Clash over Ethics and Lobbying Reform:

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“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”.

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Dreier was For the Commission Before He was Against It:

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Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) opposes the creation of an independent panel to investigate ethics violations, proposed by Sen. Barak Obama (D-IL), even though he submitted a proposal in 1997 to create such a panel. The Hill newspaper reports that Dreier and then-Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN) proposed the creation of an independent panel to oversee the ethics process in the wake of the ethics investigation of Newt Gingrich. Dreier stated admitted that the failures of the Ethics Committee came from the “conflicts inherent in a completely self-disciplining system.”

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Creation of Enforcement Mechanisms Key to Democrats Reform Plans:

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Two options emerge in ethics reform packages presented by House and Senate Democrats to enforce lobbying and ethics laws and regulations on lobbyists, according to the Wall Street Journal. One option presented by Sen. Barak Obama (D-IL) would create “a nine-member Congressional Ethics Enforcement Commission, made up of outsiders but appointed by House and Senate leaders.” The Commission would have subpoena power and the authority to investigate but the decision on discipline would remain in the hands of the Ethics Committees. The second option would create an Office of Public Integrity to “audit files,” “assist the ethics committees in enforcing rules,” and “initiate inquiries and serve as a prosecutor in cases brought to the ethics committees, which would be the judges.” Republican leaders John Boehner (R-OH) and David Drier (R-CA) oppose outsiders controlling ethics processes in Congress.

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GOP Split Over Lobbying Reform:

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Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), competing for the Majority Leader post vacated by the scandal-plagued Tom DeLay (R-TX), echoed the sentiments of many in the Republican caucus when he said that Congress is good at doing two things – nothing and overreacting. According to the Washington Post, the Republican caucus is split over whether to pursue ethics reforms laid out two weeks ago by Rules Committee Chairman David Drier (R-CA). Fifty lawmakers voted against restricting former representatives from using the House gym to lobby current members, including Republicans DeLay, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA), Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael G. Oxley (R-OH), and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX). The bill was ridiculed by Democrats and Republicans alike. Drier has been forced to hold off on introducing the Republican lobbying and ethics reforms because of the belief in parts of the party that the leadership is overreacting.

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