REBOUND. In a last minute turnaround, House GOP leaders struck a deal with rebelling appropriators late yesterday and narrowly revived their lobbying reform package. A vote is set for next week. Leaders won over the Appropriations Committee members by assuring them that an extension of earmark reforms to the authorizing and tax committees would be added in conference negotiations with the Senate. (That is to say, they promised ahead of time that the final legislation would differ in specific ways from the version the House is actually going to vote on next week.) A Republican amendment to establish an independent Office of Public Integrity was prevented from getting a floor vote, while several of the most significant disclosure requirements passed by the Judiciary Committee were stripped out; this left as perhaps the key pillar of the legislation the new requirement that lobbyists file reports four times a year instead of just twice. Thus will Congress exorcise the specter of corruption from its hallowed halls, once and for all. And at any rate, even if the bill does come across as a bit thin, Republicans have already said they don't care because they don't think anybody's paying attention.
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