House Democrats Hope To Close Divide Thursday On Lobbying Disclosure Measure - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

House Democrats Hope To Close Divide Thursday On Lobbying Disclosure Measure

Updated:
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Democratic leaders in Congress face an unusual opponent _ their own members, not Republicans _ in trying to deliver on a promise to shed more light on lobbyists who raise large campaign donations.

After days of pleading with reluctant colleagues, House Democratic leaders scheduled a vote Thursday on a measure to require lobbyists to disclose ``bundling'' practices. The technique involves soliciting and collecting campaign donations from several sources and delivering them to a favored lawmaker in one package.

The Senate overwhelming approved such a measure in January, but it has hit stiff opposition from many rank-and-file House Democrats who rely on lobbyists to help them raise campaign money.

In response, Democratic leaders agreed Wednesday to make the bundling measure a separate bill rather than folding it into a larger package of proposed lobbying revisions. Had it been part of the larger bill, they said, enough Democratic opponents might have joined most Republicans in voting against a procedural ``rule'' required to bring bills to the House floor.

Supporters hope to pressure Democrats and Republicans alike to vote for the bundling-disclosure proposal as a stand-alone question rather than as a parliamentary procedure that often divides the parties.

Some of the proposal's most outspoken opponents said they were satisfied with the plan to give members a straightforward way to express their views. ``The point was to give people a free vote on it,'' said Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii. He wouldn't predict the outcome but said, ``I won't vote for it.''

There is nothing wrong with a lobbyist helping a member raise campaign money, Abercrombie said, but a new disclosure requirement might suggest otherwise.

Democratic leaders, however, reminded colleagues that their clean-government campaign was one reason for the party's success in last fall's elections. Critics already are accusing Democrats of backsliding because a House committee last week rejected a Senate-approved bid to make former lawmakers wait two years, rather than one, before becoming a lobbyist.

Striking the bundling disclosure proposal would invite even more attacks from Republicans, open-government groups and others, several House members said.

``We came into this Congress riding the ethics horse, and I think we have to ride it all the way to the finish line,'' said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.

Under current law, individual campaign donors must report their contributions, but bundlers often remain anonymous.

The companion lobbying bill would, among other things, require lawmakers to identify themselves when placing ``earmarks,'' or targeted spending items, into bills.
Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.