House Passes Lobbying and Ethics Reforms

The 100 hours agenda is off to a good start:

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. House of Representatives, after installing its new Democratic leadership, voted to ban lawmakers from flying on corporate jets and accepting gifts and meals from lobbyists.

The House passed, 430-1, a package of rules aimed at demonstrating Democrats’ commitment to cleaning up Congress. Tomorrow, the House will vote on rules designed to end the anonymous sponsorship of pet projects, or earmarks, that have been quietly tucked into spending measures.

“The culture of the last Congress came to be defined by a phrase now common to Americans throughout the country: it was a culture of corruption,” said House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter, a New York Democrat. “The American people stated loud and clear that they were ready for a new culture to take hold in Washington: a culture of commitment.”

As the Democrats won control of the House and Senate for the first time in 12 years, exit polls from the November election showed the issue resonated with voters. In a CNN exit poll, 42 percent of respondents said the issue was “extremely important.”

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