Sunday, November 19, 2006
From NYTimes.com: Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate, mindful that voters in the midterm election cited corruption as a major concern, say they are moving quickly to finalize a package of ethics changes for consideration as soon as the new Congress convenes in January.
Their initial proposals, laid out earlier this year, would prohibit members from accepting meals, gifts or travel from lobbyists, require lobbyists to disclose all contacts with lawmakers and bar former lawmakers-turned-lobbyists from entering the floor of the chambers or Congressional gymnasiums.
None of the measures would overhaul campaign financing or create an independent ethics watchdog to enforce the rules. Nor would they significantly restrict earmarks, the pet projects lawmakers can anonymously insert into spending bills, which have figured in several recent corruption scandals and attracted criticism from members in both parties. The proposals would require disclosure of the sponsors of some earmarks, but not all. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]