New Congressional Ethics Rules

The new Republican Congress has removed many of the tough ethics rules. One example, lobbyists can now deliver food to members of Congress and their staff, up to $50 per person per meal. So what do Republicans say about a $50-per-person meal?

“What we are talking about is Chinese food,” said Jo Powers, the spokeswoman for David Dreier, the Republican representative from California who leads the rules committee. “It’s not like steaks are being delivered.”

That’s how Republicans feel about meals that cost “only” $50 per person!

Another change allows charities to pick up the tab for travel and lodging for members to attend their events. Critics say this harks back to the days when House members cavorted with special interests on free trips to golf resorts. But, Ms. Powers said, “sometimes a member will be a big draw for charity.” “If it will help the charity double their take, it’s worth bringing them down,” she added.

Just to be clear, the Heritage Foundation is a “charity.” Scaife’s foundations are “charities.” The Federalist Society is a “charity.”