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Enough Already! Sen. DeMint – Remove Your Hold on Ethics Reform

July 11, 2007

Enough Already! Sen. DeMint – Remove Your Hold on Ethics Reform

Lobbying and Ethics Reform Bill Stalled Again by Parliamentary Maneuvers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) should release his hold on groundbreaking lobbying and ethics reform legislation, Public Citizen said in a letter sent to DeMint today. In a second stalling tactic by Republicans in as many weeks, DeMint has placed a hold on appointing Senate conferees to iron out the differences with the House of Representatives and complete the lobbying and ethics reform bill. Right before the July 4 recess, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) similarly blocked a motion to proceed with reconciling House and Senate lobbying reform bills S. 1 and H.R. 2316.

Public Citizen joins the rest of America in demanding that Congress move ahead with cleaning up its act, appoint conferees to agree upon the strongest lobbying and ethics reform legislation, and pass these long-overdue reforms into law. DeMint, who has orchestrated the latest in a long line of obstructionist tactics, claims to be blocking the reform legislation to get a guarantee from the Democratic caucus that the final legislation will contain his earmark reform.

“This is a bogus excuse to block ethics reform,” said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. “The Senate has approved the earmark reforms sponsored by DeMint himself, which passed by a vote of 98-0 in the ethics and lobbying reform legislation, S. 1, that he is now blocking. Also, the Senate already discloses most earmarks online even without the legislation in place.”

Last year, when congressional Republicans were in the majority, they killed lobbying and ethics reform legislation by refusing to appoint conferees to finish the legislation. This year, the Senate and House again approved separate reform bills; the next step is approval for a conference committee to resolve the differences.

“We have been waiting years for Congress to do what is right,” said Craig Holman, lobbyist for Public Citizen. “We are almost there – if Sen. DeMint stops this filibuster.”

Public Citizen’s letter is available here.

Read Public Citizen’s WatchdogBlog about the obstruction of ethics and lobbying reform.