Sunday, January 28, 2007
"Democrats made ethics reform a major issue in last fall's congressional elections, but the ethics package the House approved earlier this month didn't address the issue and neither did the one proposed by Senate Democrats. Last week, however, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) proposed banning spouses of senators from lobbying any part of the chamber. The lone exception is for spouses who were lobbying at least one year before their husband or wife was elected.Kind of reminds you of public choice economics, eh?
The Senate is scheduled to vote on the legislation as soon as today. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) called Vitter and said he would support the proposal with one caveat: It should exempt spouses who are already lobbyists.
'As long as it is not retroactive, Senator Reid supports efforts to ban spouses of sitting members from lobbying in the future,' spokesman Jim Manley said. Vitter said he will not support Reid's proposal. 'I think this goes to one of the fundamental issues in this whole debate and that is officeholders using their office to increase their personal and family income. It doesn't get any more basic than that,' Vitter said."