US House passes lobbying ethics reform bill Michael Sung at 2:44 PM ET
[JURIST] The US House of Representatives voted 411-8 [roll call] Tuesday in favor of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 [PDF text, S 1 materials], which requires members of Congress to disclose more information about their fund-raising efforts and gifts they receive from lobbyists, and also prohibits former congress members from lobbying for a short period of time. Other key provisions [AP backgrounder] prohibit members from receiving free air travel and also deny retirement benefits to former members of Congress convicted of bribery, conspiracy to commit an offense against or to defraud United States, perjury, and other offenses.
Under the new rules, members of Congress will have to disclose donations from lobbyists who "bundle" donations totaling over $15,000. The bill institutes a requirement that the identity of a targeted recipient of earmarked funds must be publicized 48 hours before the Senate votes, but also shifts the authority to determine whether a senator has complied with earmark disclosure requirements from the Senate parliamentarian to the majority party's leaders. The Senate is expected to debate and pass their version of the legislation later this week. AP has more.
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