Thursday, April 27, 2006

Lobby 'Reform': Another Joke

Lobby 'Reform': Worse than Window Dressing:

"Today the U.S. House is expected to take up the lobbying- and ethics-reform bill that has been in the works since the Jack Abramoff scandal first broke. If all goes according to GOP-leadership plan, House members will approve legislation so ineffectual as to be almost a parody of itself. Then, behind closed doors, House-Senate conferees will hash out the differences between that bill and a slightly (only slightly) better Senate version; President Bush will sign it into law; and voila! Members can return to their districts and say they've taken care of lobbying reform.

The problem is that the process so far illustrates exactly the kind of congressional disingenuousness that makes 80 percent of Americans think that bribery and other corruption are widespread in Washington. For example, for all the talk of need for transparency and openness in government, House GOP leadership is expected to bring the lobbying-reform bill to the floor in a way that would limit debate and prevent members from offering any amendments. "

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