Kerry Lauds Passage of Historic Ethics Reform Bill
Senator John Kerry applauded the passage of historic, sweeping ethics legislation reforms today, which will fundamentally change the way business is done in Washington. The law makes good on a promise Democrats made when they regained the majority in the House and Senate, which was to force much-needed reforms in the way Congress operates. The new law cracks down on lobbyist gifts, requires greater transparency for earmarks, and provides a bigger speed bump for the revolving door between the Capitol and K Street. In addition, Kerry's "Duke Cunningham Act" passed as part of the bill - a provision which cancels taxpayer-funded pension benefits to Members of Congress convicted of serious ethics offenses, such as bribery or conspiracy.
"Ethics reform is a giant step towards fixing what's broken in Washington, and removing the taint of Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham, which has damaged Americans' faith in their own government," said Kerry. "This vote was a test of who just talks about openness and transparency, and who is committed to making it a reality. This new Democratic Majority was elected to reform Washington, and today we've delivered the first of many big changes to the way business gets done in this city. These are the promises we were elected to keep."