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Nancy means business!

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  • Nancy means business!

    Nancy Pelosi's tough new rules
    Tuesday, October 31, 2006 | 11:28 AM ET
    By Henry Champ
    If, as many of the experts and polls are saying, the Democrats win the House of Representatives, then it follows that the loftily titled Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2006 should pass, at least in the House.

    After all, the public is fed up with congressional ethics, or perhaps more to the point, the lack of such ethics. In every poll or focus group, at every town hall meeting or rally throughout this campaign, there have been calls for reform.

    The act is a tough document, authored by Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco-area congresswomen who has been the Democratic House leader since 2002. She will likely be the House Speaker if the Democrats win next Tuesday.

    Here are some of the new rules Pelosi wants:

    No House member may accept any gift of any value from lobbyists, or any firm or association that hires lobbyists.

    No free travel, which means an end to the corporate jet line every Friday at Reagan National Airport.

    No free tickets to Redskins games; or no meals of any value, even at a McDonalds; no front-row seats at entertainment venues. No, no and no.

    Temptations resisted
    To reduce temptations to cheat, Pelosi's bill attacks the usefulness of members to richly endowed lobbyists.

    House members will no longer be able to slip in special-interest projects on unrelated legislation. Such measures will no longer be allowed on a bill once negotiations between the Senate and House are complete.

    Further, all bills will be made available to the public a full 24 hours before a final vote; presumably this gives watchdog groups a chance to flag any skullduggery.

    Under the Pelosi rules, lobbyists will no longer be able to use the House gym (you'd be surprised how much gets negotiated in a sauna). Lobbyists will no longer be allowed onto the House floor or to use the cloakrooms just off the floor, preventing last-minute arm-twisting.

    What's more, no member or staffer will be able to negotiate for employment in the public sector without disclosing such contacts to the House Ethics Committee, and within three days of such contact being made.

    Finally, all of this will be audited and investigated by a new Office of Public Integrity, and that office reports, directly and only, to the U.S. Attorneys Office.

    At this point, you'd be entitled to ask, "heard this before, what makes you think it will be accepted by Congress?"

    Can it work?
    No doubt there will be attempts to water down some of these new regulations. In fact, many of these proposals have been in other bills that have been defeated in the recent past.

    But several key congressional experts tell CBC News that Pelosi means business and might just be able to push this through. They put it this way.

    Pelosi and the congressional Democratic leadership are not likely to get much credit simply for gaining control of the House.

    Conventional wisdom already sees such a victory, should it happen, first and foremost as a repudiation of the Bush administration and the Republicans.

    This Honest Leadership and Open Government Act is a way of hitting the bricks running. Plus, it could be enormously popular with voters of all persuasions.

    They point out Pelosi herself has little national profile and wants quickly to paint some bold strokes. She promises the act will be the first legislation tackled if she leads a new Congress.

    Also, Pelosi can and will extract promises of support from those getting leadership positions and plush committee chairmanships and the like.

    These new rules will apply in the House as soon as they are passed by simple majority.

    The Senate has different rules, but for Republicans and Democrats there, the pressure to comply with the Pelosi standards will be huge.

    Hard to see how anyone could be against this. Now it just needs to pass, and get means for proper enforcement.

  • #2
    but are they still free to have relations with young boys?


    • #3
      The Conservative government up here tried to pass something similar...but the opposition parties shot it down...they said it wasn't good enough....

      The Conservatives were the first party, ever, to introduce legislation such as this. But it was not good enogh.
      My Flickr Pictures! Click Me!


      • #4
        Not going to pass...the lobbyist culture is ingrained too deeply in D.C.