In the wake of the Jack Abramoff meltdown, House GOP leaders claim that they want at least a temporary ban on privately funded travel for lawmakers, plus some restrictions on lobbyists.

It shouldn’t have taken a scandal the magnitude of the Abramoff case to convince these lawmakers to do the right thing. This latest move seems a cynical ploy destined to “sunset” as soon as public attention is turned elsewhere.



WASHINGTON – Stung by scandal, House Republican leaders want at least a temporary ban on privately funded travel for lawmakers, along with a requirement for lobbyists to disclose the food, drink and other gifts they bestow on House members.

Lawmakers also would be required for the first time to disclose when they direct federal funds to be spent on pet projects, officials said Tuesday night, the first attempt in years to rein in a practice known as earmarking.

The changes are among several the GOP leadership embraced Tuesday night, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, as they worked to counter Democratic charges of a “culture of corruption.”

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