Clinton Takes Jab At House With Own Lobbying Reform
One-upping House Republicans he chastised as slow to reform lobbying, President Clinton said Friday he will act alone in forcing lobbyists to publicly disclose their activities before approaching executive-branch employees.
Clinton directed Attorney General Janet Reno to draft an executive order adopting lobbyist registration and disclosure requirements. The measures are part of legislation the Senate passed last week by a 98-0 vote.
House leaders have indicated unreadiness to schedule a vote on a similar measure that, if passed, would give reforms greater legal status than a presidential administrative signing. “They won’t put lobbyists in their proper place in our governmental structure,” Clinton said.
The president clearly aimed to prod House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., into honoring a handshake promise they made June 11 in Claremont, N.H., when a retired factory shop manager, Frank MacConnell, raised the issue.
The two leaders agreed to form a bipartisan commission on lobbying and campaign finance changes.
Clinton announced his proposed executive order at an Oval Office photo-op with John Gardner, founder of the government watchdog group Common Cause, and author Doris Kearns Goodwin, whom he already has named to the commission. Gingrich has yet to suggest his appointees.