Saturday, August 4, 2007

Congressional Ethics: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Both houses of Congress this week passed new ethics legislation. President Bush says he will sign the legislation.

On paper, the new rules sound impressive. They ban gifts, trips and other goodies supplied by Washington lobbyists.

Yet the rules leave lots of loopholes, some of which are significant. Even before the legislative ink is dry, critics are pointing out that little is likely to change in way Washington works. As the International Herald Tribune put it:
While proponents hailed the measure as the most significant reform since Watergate, questions remained on how some provisions would be enforced and whether the measure would change lawmakers’ ability to secure pet projects known as earmarks.

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