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Even before Jack Abramoff pled guilty to bribery, both houses of Congress were promising lobby reform. That was then; this is now. The Senate has shelved its version, and the House proposal does not rise to the standard set by Speaker Dennis Hastert at the height of the scandal. Lobbyists tell reporters it would be only a "nuisance." Have Congressional leaders decided that voters don't care as long as their Congressmen bring home the bacon? Will the ethics issue make any difference in this year's elections? We compare what was offered originally to what's been produced--and what's likely to pass, with journalists, consumer-rights advocates, political analysts and two Republican Congressmen, including one appointed by Speaker Dennis Hastert to oversee lobby reform.
  • Making News: President Bush Tries to Reassure Public on Iraq Mission
    In a speech yesterday, President Bush acknowledged that Americans are disheartened about the war in Iraq. At a press conference today, he continued the effort to reassure doubters by saying he is still confident of ultimate victory. John Harwood, who covers the White House for the Wall Street Journal, says the unexpected press conference may have been meant to turn around the President's sagging approval rating.
  • Reporter's Notebook: DHS Secretary Chertoff Recognizes Chemical-Plant Dangers
    Since September 11, there's been controversy over the vulnerability of chemical plants to attacks by terrorists, with the Bush Administration insisting that voluntary security measures are adequate. Today, the White House reversed course with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff telling industry leaders that they can't be "free riders" any more. Robert Block covers Homeland Security for the Wall Street Journal.

Bush press conference on victory in Iraq

President Bush defends War on Terror, Operation Iraqi Freedom

Pork-Barrel Reduction Act (S 2265)

Lobbying Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (HR 4975)

Export Freedom to Cuba Act of 2003 (HR 2071)

House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct

Birnbaum's article on lobbyists seeing reform rules as

DHS Secretary Chertoff's remarks on dangers of chemical plants

Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2005 (S 2145)

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