Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Behind closed doors

Ethics bill passes overwhelmingly in the U.S. House. It's imperfect, but it's a start. The New York Times reports :
The new lobbying bill would, for the first time, require lawmakers to disclose small campaign contributions that are "bundled" into large packages by lobbyists. It would require lobbyists to detail their own campaign contributions, as well as payments to presidential libraries, inaugural committees and charities controlled by lawmakers. The proposal would also put new disclosure requirements on special spending measures for pet projects, known as "earmarks."
The Los Angeles Times concludes:
Democratic leaders, eager to complete work on the bill before breaking for their summer recess, decided to work out their differences behind closed doors and have each chamber pass identical versions.

Complaining about the way the Democrats chose to advance the bill after pledging to lead a more open and bipartisan Congress, Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas) said that he wasn't even able to get a copy of the bill until shortly before the vote.

"I got my first copy from a lobbyist," he said.
And they won't be packing up any time soon. It ain't over until the cowboy signs it.

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