Wednesday, August 1, 2007
From latimes.com: In the most sweeping overhaul of congressional ethics rules since the Watergate era, the House on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill aimed at curbing the influence of lobbyists and repairing Congress' corruption-sullied image.
Democrats promised to pass the measure after they won control of Congress following a campaign that denounced the Republican "culture of corruption" on Capitol Hill.
The legislation is one of a number of accomplishments that the majority party, ridiculed by Republicans for its slim legislative record, hopes to deliver before lawmakers break at the end of the week for a monthlong recess. The Senate plans to approve an identical bill this week and send it to President Bush for his signature.
The bill would impose new rules on lawmakers and lobbyists, requiring reports on the campaign checks that lobbyists solicit from different contributors and denying congressional pensions to lawmakers convicted of felonies. It would even bar senators-turned-lobbyists from setting foot in the Senate gym.
"If there was one message that was abundantly clear based on the results of last year's election, it was that the American people want us to end the culture of corruption that has enveloped the legislative process," said Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "We've heard that message loud and clear." Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]