"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Clay Intends to Defy His Party on Lobbying Reform

May 22nd, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

By: Jeff Patch

The biggest challenge for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in pushing through a showcase lobbying reform may be simply getting debate started on the bill. Key allies of Pelosi fear that some Democrats will help kill the measure by voting against the rule that will set the parameters for the floor debate.

The measure drawing most opposition is an expected amendment requiring lobbyists to detail how much money they raise for lawmakers, a practice known as bundling.

So far, only one Democrat — Rep. William Lacy Clay of Missouri — has publicly said he would defy his party. But dissent over the bundling bill is well-known within the caucus, particularly among senior and minority members who fear the measure would discourage lobbyists from aiding fundraising efforts.

Clay said he thought the measure was largely for show. “I think quite a bit of this is grandstanding to be able to go back home over Memorial Day weekend and say we accomplished something,” Clay said. “I don’t believe in that.” Clay said his chief objection is to bundling disclosure, an issue he says constituents at home don’t raise in town hall settings or otherwise. Read more…

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