Obama, Feingold Laud Passage of Strong House Ethics Package
U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) today released the following statement lauding the House passage of lobbying reform legislation that included bundling disclosure and restrictions on the work of former lobbyists who transition to work on Capitol Hill. Senators Feingold and Obama sponsored the Lobbying and Ethics Reform Act, which set a standard for strong ethics legislation this Congress and included similar provisions.
The joint statement is below:
"Last November, the American people sent Congress a clear message - Clean up your act.' We heard that message loud and clear and redoubled our efforts to change the culture of the Capitol. Our bill proposed: a full ban on gifts and meals from lobbyists; an end to subsidized travel on corporate jets; closing the revolving door to ensure that public service isn't all about lining up a high-paying lobbying job; an end to lavish, lobbyist-funded parties honoring members of Congress at the national party conventions; and a requirement that lobbyists disclose the contributions that they bundle for members of Congress."
"All of these reforms made it into the final Senate bill, which we strongly supported and which passed the Senate overwhelmingly. Although the House did not embrace all of them, we are pleased it has now passed a lobbying disclosure bill so the process for enacting these reforms can move forward."
"In particular, we applaud the House for passing a separate bill to require the disclosure of bundled contributions. This disclosure of bundling practices will go farther than any other provision in the lobbying reform bill to shine a spotlight on the dangerous connection between money and legislation. Since the era of soft money in federal elections is over, influence is often acquired today not by how much you contribute, but by how much you raise."
"We're proud of the reforms we've made possible, and hopeful that Congress will pass the strongest possible ethics legislation in order to change Washington from a place that's only open to those with the cash and connections to one that represents the voices and votes of every single American."