Hoyer Statement on Lobbying Reform Bill

For Immediate Release:

July 31, 2007

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

 

WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this morning in support of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support by a vote of 411-8.  Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

 

"Mr. Speaker, today is a proud day for this body, and a dramatic example of how the Congress that was elected last November pledging to clean up the 'culture of corruption' is making good on its promise.

 

"Last January, on the first day of this new Congress, we enacted sweeping ethics rule changes.  And today, with this 'Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007,' we have a simple, straightforward purpose: to continue to restore public confidence in the legislative process.

 

"I commend Chairman John Conyers for his leadership in making possible this comprehensive reform measure.

           

"By shining a bright light on the campaign contributions that registered lobbyists bundle for Members of Congress, the conference report before us increases transparency and gives the American people important insight on the legislative process.

 

"By denying Members convicted of crimes of their Congressional pensions, the conference report ensures that Members who break their oath to uphold the laws of the land will not only suffer public disgrace but also lifetime financial loss.  Freshman Member Nancy Boyda deserves great credit for her work on this provision.

 

"And by requiring Members engaged in any job negotiation to recuse themselves from any matter in which there is a conflict of interest, the conference report before us will end the practice of Members trying to cash in on the legislation they steer through this body.

          

"As important as this legislation and the ethics changes made in January are, they alone will not ensure the integrity of our process and this institution.

 

"Rather, the Members of this House will ensure the integrity of this House when we conduct ourselves openly and honestly, and hold accountable those who fail to abide by the rules and the highest ethical standards.

           

"Thus, we have an obligation to ensure that the Ethics Committee does the job that it was constituted to perform.  The implementation of rules - while critical - must be followed by effective, real enforcement.  This conference report is an important step forward.  I urge my colleagues to support it."

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