The Senate passed lobby “reform” legislation tonight. Besides banning lobbyist-paid gifts and means, one item of interest – the legislation outlaws the infamous “K Street Project” or other efforts like it by banning Senators from tying to exert their political influence over lobbying firm hiring decisions.
Senator Tom Coburn issued a scathing statement in response to the Senate’s failure to clean house by completely eliminating earmarks. The Senate came pretty close by requiring 60 votes in a case where a single Senator objected to an earmark. It will be interesting to see how many objections to earmarks are invoked. The era of “Free Lunch” may soon to be coming to an end.
Of greatest concern to good government types is that strong independent enforcement was missing from the legislation.