They’re making out too well from the corruption – it is what funds the Republican Party. So new Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is blocking attempts to reform ethics and lobbying.
Republicans Halt Ethics Legislation,
Senate Republicans scuttled broad legislation last night to curtail lobbyists’ influence and tighten congressional ethics rules, refusing to let the bill pass without a vote on an unrelated measure that would give President Bush virtual line-item-veto power.
So here we are.
Everyone who thought the fight was over because the Democrats have a majority in the House and Senate now, raise your hands.
Update – From Sen. McConnell’s office,
Republicans didn’t derail the ethics reform bill. They’re enthusiastic about voting for it. Republicans just want earmark reform, as well. (and Democrats have already accepted an earmark reform amendment in the ethics bill, so it’s not really unrelated)
Update II – Evening – Senate passes ethics reform bill
After a spirited debate over the year’s first order of business, the Senate reached a bipartisan agreement on ethics reform Thursday and approved a package designed to burnish its image in the wake of recent corruption scandals.
The Senate voted 96-2 for a measure that would prohibit lobbyists from paying for gifts for lawmakers and their staffs, including travel. It also would require full disclosure on which lawmakers have requested funding earmarks for specific projects in lawmakers’ home states or districts.