Poor Widdle Congresscritters

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Poor Widdle Congresscritters

Awww, no more free dinners or golfing in Scotland on a lobbyists' dime.
House Republicans moved to seize the initiative for ethics reform Tuesday with a comprehensive package of changes, including the banning of privately sponsored travel like that arranged by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The package also includes a virtual ban on gifts, except for inconsequential items like baseball caps, and a provision that will affect few people: elimination of congressional pensions for anyone convicted of a felony related to official duties.
One important part of the GOP plan would increase - from one year to two years - the waiting period before former lawmakers and senior staff members could lobby Congress.

The plan also includes enhanced disclosure of lobbying contacts and spending.
The ban on lobbyist gifts would include meals and tickets to sporting or entertainment events as well as travel, according to officials familiar with the proposals.

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