Media Blog

Ethics Bill Blame Game: WaPo Takes the Dems’ Side

Washington Post reporter Jonathan Weisman’s report on the status of the Senate ethics and lobbying reform bill is highly sympathetic to the Democrats’ point of view, starting with this loaded opening:

Senate Republicans scuttled broad legislation last night to curtail lobbyists’ influence and tighten congressional ethics rules, refusing to let the bill pass without a vote on an unrelated measure that would give President Bush virtual line-item-veto power.

That’s one way of looking at it. But from another perspective, Senate Democrats, by refusing to allow a vote on rescission authority (which is not entirely unrelated to cleaning up Congress), are the ones who are holding up the bill. You could go even further and say that Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) is single-handedly holding up the bill by blocking a compromise between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell that would put rescission authority to a vote in the next few weeks (Weisman eventually gets to this important detail – in the third-to-last paragraph).