Rep. Eshoo Opposes "Sham" Reform Bill

May 17, 2006
Press Release

May 3, 2006 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) voted against H.R. 4975, the so-called "Lobbying Reform Act" today, expressing her outrage that the House squandered a real opportunity to enact meaningful ethics reforms in a Congress rampant with corruption.  The bill passed the House by a vote of 217 to 213.

"The American people are fed up with the scandal and corruption emanating from Washington, D.C." Eshoo said, "Even with Members of Congress resigning and going to jail, the Republican Leadership in the House seems content with doing as little as possible to address the corruption that is impacting the American people in very real ways."

Noticeably absent from the bill put forward by the House Leadership were provisions to reform the procedural abuses that have silenced debate, prohibited Members from seeing legislation before it is voted on, and allowed leadership to hold votes open in order to manipulate Members into voting for bills.  H.R. 4975 also delays a permanent ban on privately-funded travel and gifts to Members from lobbyists until after the November election.

"The cost of this corruption and undue influence in Congress is being paid for every day by the American people with skyrocketing prices at the gas pump, spiraling drug costs, and waste, fraud and no-bid contracts in the Gulf Coast and Iraq for Administration cronies like Halliburton," said Eshoo.

Rep. Eshoo is an original cosponsor of H.R. 4682, the Honest Government, Open Leadership Act, which would return a fair and open legislative process to the House of Representatives by providing a minimum time for Members to review legislation prior to a vote and by requiring full and open debate in conference committees.  The Democratic proposal also provides increased disclosure by lobbyists and permanently bans travel, gifts, and meals from registered lobbyists to Members of Congress.

The Honest Government, Open Leadership Act was offered as an alternative to H.R. 4975 but was defeated by a vote of 213 to 216.