Today the United States House of Representatives passed legislation (HR 4975) that expands the amount of information lobbyists must disclose regarding their interactions with lawmakers.
Now I understand the need for this legislation, I can't wrap my head around how lenient this bill is, but the one thing I really can't figure out is the vote of a certain member of Congress. The vote was 217-213. The Democrats could have prevented passage had 8 more of them voted no, but by the same token, 20 Republicans voted no. And the one Republican that voted no that baffles me is James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin. If you look at Representative Sensenbrenner's voting record, rarely will he vote opposite of the GOP's opinion, and never in a situation of such seriousness.
I watched Jim Sensenbrenner closely as he was given the Speaker's gavel following the historic weekend session of Congress during the Schiavo ordeal. I didn't agree with his statement that the Schiavo case was not political, because members of Congress certainly used it as a political move, but I do commend his vote today and am glad that 20 Republicans, 1 Independent (God bless Bernie Sanders), and 192 Democrats voted no to the lobbyist bill that would have been a mere slap on the wrist for men like Jack Abramoff.
In all fairness to party lines, I was just as disappointed in Representative Matheson of Utah as I was impressed with Represenative Sensenbrenner. But I won't rant on this one, don't get me started on Utah Democrats!
The Washington Post has more on today's vote and even links to how each member of Congress voted.