Monday, October 30, 2006

If Nancy Pelosi is serious about cracking down on lobbying in the House, does she have a thumbs-up from the soon-to-be master of Democrookedness?


Godspeed to House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi, who is talking the talk on House ethics reform. "Lobbyists Won't Like What Pelosi Has in Mind," according to the head of Jeffrey Birnbaum's "K Street Confidential" column in today's Washington Post.

Pelosi, writes Birnbaum, "has promised to change the chamber's rules to reflect the provisions of her not-so-modestly-named Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2006. The months-old measure would, among other things, prohibit House members from accepting gifts and travel from lobbyists or from organizations that employ lobbyists."

Some of the changes Pelosi has advocated would require changes in federal law, and those of course will require Senate approval as well (and Senate rules changes require a two-thirds majority). But changes to House rules require a simple majority vote of the House.

There is, it appears, hardly any limit to Pelosi's cruelty. "In an attempt to slow the revolving door between the public and private sectors," writes Birnbaum, "Pelosi would deprive lawmakers-turned-lobbyists of a few of their congressional perks. She would eliminate the House rule that gives access to the House gym, the House floor and its cloak rooms to former members of Congress who are registered to lobby--access that was temporarily taken away earlier this year." The she-devil!

It will be interesting to see how persuasive the new speaker is in securing the votes of the Yellow-Dog Democrats beholden to Master Rahm Emanuel, who gives every evidence of believing that the primary reason for Democrats to take power is to "get theirs"--converting the Republicrookery franchise to Democrookedness.


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