Five months into the new Congress, House Democrats are finally starting to deal with one of their primary election promises: lobbying reform.
Based on the Washington Post coverage, it seems quite possible that a final bill might not have much reform in it at all:
“Sponsors and watchdogs had hoped the House lobbying reform bill would go further than the Senate’s version, passed with great fanfare in the opening days of the new Congress. Instead, it appears to closely track the Senate bill, which also did not include restrictions on grass-roots lobbying. In recent weeks, according to several people close to the talks, the Senate had been pushing the House to narrow the bundling restrictions in its version, by limiting reporting requirements to clearly defined fundraising agreements between lobbyists and members. The House bill as discussed would do that.
“Passage of a weaker bill — chiefly, one without bundling rules — would disappoint watchdogs, who have waged a lobbying campaign of their own for the new law.”