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The Business Community Joins in the Call for Lobbying and Ethics Reform

The Committee for Economic Development (CED), a national association of 250 business and education leaders, signed on to a letter sent to Congress today calling for House members to carry through on their promise of passing meaningful, new lobbying and ethics reforms.

    The letter, also signed by Public Citizen, U.S. PIRG, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center, urged the House to approve a lobbying and ethics reform package at least as strong as the legislation approved earlier by the Senate. The Senate bill (S. 1) would severely curtail gifts and travel provided by lobbying organizations; establish electronic reporting of all lobbyist financial reports; and slow the revolving door in which officials freely move from the public sector into lucrative lobbying positions.

    CED and the reform community also called upon the House not to weaken some key provisions of the Senate bill. Most notably, the House must not strike the provisions that:

  • Require lobbyists to disclose bundling of campaign contributions; and
  • Ban “paid lobbying activity” (rather than just “lobbying contacts”) during the 2-year cooling off period of the revolving door restriction.

The groups also called upon the House to reinstate into the reform legislation a requirement that for-profit businesses disclose their so-called “grassroots lobbying” expenditures in excess of $100,000.

You can read the letter here [pdf].