In light of the recent lobbying scandals involving super lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham, you'd think that lobbyists on K Street would be shaking in their boots at the kinds of reform that Congress is proposing to restrict their access. Right?
Wrong. According to the Washington Post, the types of reforms that are being introduced, gift bans and eliminating free meals for example, will do nothing to curb lobbyists influence.
"...lobbyists say they have already found scores of new ways to buy the attention of lawmakers through fundraising, charitable activities and industry-sponsored seminars. An estimated $10 billion is spent annually to influence legislation and regulations, and that spending is not likely to be diminished by the proposed lobbying changes, these lobbyists contend."
"As a result, lobbyists would still be able to contribute to lawmakers' coffers, host and organize major fundraising events, and arrange trips subsidized by their clients to encourage electoral giving -- just as they do now. Total federal giving in this election cycle is expected to rise by at least 20 percent, to more than $3 billion, compared with the 2002 midterm-election cycle, according to Michael J. Malbin, executive director of the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute."
To no one's surprise Congress is doing as little as possible in order to maintain the status quo.