Congress: Now With More Ethics!


The House just passed a "sweeping" ethics bill, and the Senate plans to do the same this week. (Question: Why are ethics bills always "sweeping"? Is there something about ethics that brings to mine pre-vacuum housekeeping in particular?) Dems say the bill was aimed at "repairing Congress' corruption-sullied image." The bill requires disclosure of "bundled contributions," where lobbyists raise and take credit for many individual contributions that are currently reported separately. It also requires disclosure for earmarks, ending the practice of congressman adding pork without attaching their names.

Apparently, almost everyone wants more ethics:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., all but dared Republicans to try to block the proposal when it comes to a vote as early as Thursday. "With that resounding vote in the House, 411-8, I think people ought to be concerned about voting against it," he said.

The unethical eight:

Democratic Reps. Lacy Clay (Mo.), Allen Boyd (Fla.), John Tanner (Tenn.), Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.), Neil Abercrombie (Hawaii) and John Murtha (Pa.) opposed the measure. GOP Reps. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Joe Barton (Texas) also voted against the bill. Murtha, who has gotten into ethical scrapes with one lawmaker this year, routinely has opposed ethics changes.