January 20, 2006
So, Republicans want to restrict lobbyists and clean up their act, do they? It’s funny that they only see the light when it is shined upon them.
The Jack Abramoff scandal has gotten their attention and now the House and Senate, are moving quickly to convince voters of their righteous intentions.
The problem is mainly career politicians and the lobbyists who own them. If we had term limits and members would only stay in Washington temporarily, that would help. Meantime, all privately-paid for congressional travel should be banned. If members need to travel beyond their states and districts, travel bills should be paid for by the government and members required to submit expense vouchers with the time spent on business and recreation.
No gifts should be received by any member from anyone who has legislative interests.
Term limits would help clean up the mess. The founders never intended a permanent political class. A bipartisan outside commission would help. I don’t have much faith in those who brought us the problem solving it themselves.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.