Bipartisan Working Group on Lobbying Reform Announce Agreement on Areas to be Included in Reform Legislation
Today Senators Santorum (R-PA), McCain (R-AZ), Lott (R-MS), Kyl (R-AZ), Vitter (R-LA), Lieberman (D-CT), Obama (D-IL), Isakson (R-GA), Dodd (D-CT), Feingold (D-WI) and Collins (R-ME), issued the following joint statement:
"As an ad hoc bipartisan group of Senators supportive of lobbying and ethics reform, we have had productive discussions concerning a broad range of issues. As the committees of jurisdiction prepare to mark up legislation the week of February 27th, we have provided our insights - both in the areas where we agree and in the areas that remain outstanding - to the chairmen and ranking members of the committees involved. We hope these insights will be of assistance. We all support working through the committee process to bring a bill or bills to the floor promptly that will provide meaningful reform and greater accountability to the American people.
"Our discussions have been substantive and detailed. Although we do not completely agree on all details, we are all strongly supportive of meaningful reform, and we believe that the following areas, at a minimum, should be included and addressed in any legislative package:
* the revolving door between private lobbying and public service,
* privately funded travel,
* gifts from lobbyists,
* improved lobbying disclosure,
* transparency in earmarks,
* strengthened ethics guidelines, training, and enforcement.
"We believe legislation in these areas can only be passed on a bipartisan basis and we are pleased to have these ongoing discussions. We encourage all of our colleagues to devote attention to these important issues in the next few weeks and give the relevant committees the benefit of their expertise and thoughts."