100 Hours: Draining The Swamp


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The first of the incoming speaker's 100 Hours initiatives is something she calls "draining the swamp" to break the connection between lobbyists and legislation. Since the election, speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi has yet, as far as I can find, to put forth specifics on this issue.

It is likely however, that whatever will be put forth will bear some resemblance to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2006, which was authored by Pelosi. That bill, which never made it through the 109th Congress despite had 162 cosponsors, calls for sweeping reforms. Here are some significant highlights:

  • Denies access to the house floor to any past member or officer who is now a registered lobbyist.
  • Bans privately funded travel by house members, delegates, officers and employees.
  • Creates an Office of Public Integrity and Office of Inspector General of the House
  • Requires that congressional travel be certified to meet certain conditions and be subject to fines for false certification
  • Mandatory annual ethics training for staffers
  • Prohibits consideration of "reconciliation legislation" that would increase the deficit without offsets
  • Limits recorded electronic votes to a 20-minute period.
  • Prohibits consideration of an adjournment resolution unless the house has either called a quorum call or had one vote at least 4 days a week for a minimum of 20 weeks.
  • Prohibits consideration of a bill until the bill has been available for at least 24 hours. If the bill contains earmarks targeted to members districts or contains "limited tax benefits", the wait period is extended to 3 days.
  • Requires conference committee proceedings to be open
  • Provides for various conditions to open up the federal procurement process

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