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Tuesday, September 18, 2007
(10:29 AM) | Stephen:
Good Behavior In DC

The "Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007" was just signed into law on Friday. It was the first piece of legislation passed by the Democratic Congress, just as promised, and it contains all the provisions that we were promised by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

Adam B at DailyKos has the rundown, here's a few highlights:
  • Earmark sponsors must be listed in appropriations committee reports. And Senators will be able to attack earmarks on the floor with a point of order triggering an hour of debate, and it will take a three-fifths majority vote to retain the provision.
  • Say goodbye to infinite, anonymous holds. Senators will still be able to anonymously block a request for unanimous consent, but only for six days. After that, the senator’s name would be disclosed unless the objection was withdrawn.
  • Slow down the revolving door -- after Dec. 31, senators, top aides and top administration officials would have to wait two years after leaving office before lobbying Congress.
There's quite a bit more, of course, but it was a good bill and now it's a good law. Of course, I'm not surprised that Bush didn't make a big deal out of signing a bill that puts the Democrats in such a good light.

It needs to be said, I think, that Reid, Pelosi and many others have been in Congress for a long time, and this law is full of what I as a regular person consider reasonable, common-sense regulations. We should not have had to wait until 2007 for these reforms to take place, and while the GOP is furiously trying to corner the corruption market all to itself, Democrats are hardly innocent in these areas. But they did pass it. Let's hope we can pressure them for more good legislation like this.

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