Among those voting for the legislation was Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt, one of those who has been most successful with using lobbyists to raise money for his own political campaign and for his Rely on Your Beliefs PAC, and Fourth District Congressman Ike Skelton.
The rest of Missouri's legislative contingent also voted for the bill, with the exception of Jo Ann Emerson, who was not present for the vote.
Lobbyists have an incentive to help raise millions for politicians since this kind of support obviously opens the door for them with the politicians and enables them to shape legislation in ways that serve their clients:
The measure goes to the heart of how Washington does business by uncovering a hidden practice that sprang up as an unintended consequence of restrictions imposed by campaign finance laws. Because those laws cap individual contributions — now $2,300 per campaign — candidates have been turning to well-connected lobbyists to bundle stacks of checks to make up the millions they need to run their campaigns.
Washington lobbyists hoping for access to lawmakers have the greatest incentive to shoulder such fund-raising burdens. But previous election rules required campaigns to disclose only their individual contributors, not the intermediaries who may have bundled them.
The proposed new rule could expose the heavy reliance of many in Congress on Washington lobbyists to raise money for their campaigns.
Also on Thursday, Congress passed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007. The vote was
Extends from one to two years the ban on former senior and very senior executive personnel, former Members of Congress, legislative branch officers and employees, and such individuals who represent foreign entities from making lobbying contacts with any officer or employee of the entity in which such person served before his or her tenure terminated.
Requires public disclosure by Members of Congress and congressional staff of employment negotiations.
Subjects to fines and penalties a Member of Congress or a congressional employee who wrongfully influences, on a partisan basis, an entity's employment decisions or practices.
Amends the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (LDA) to require: (1) quarterly instead of semiannual filing of lobbying disclosures reports; (2) electronic filing; (3) disclosure of registered lobbyist contributions; (4) disclosure by registered lobbyists of all past executive and congressional employment; and (5) maintenance of certain lobbying disclosure information in an electronic data base, available to the public free of charge over the Internet.
Amends the LDA to prohibit a registered lobbyist from making a gift or providing travel to a Member, officer, or employee of Congress, unless the gift or travel may be accepted under the rules of the House of Representatives or the Senate.
Revises criteria, with regard to disclosure requirements, for determining a coalition or association of groups that retain a person to conduct lobbying activities.
Makes amendments made by this Act inapplicable to political committee activities described in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.
Amends the LDA to increase the penalty for failure to comply with lobbying disclosure requirements.
Amends the Rules of the House to require a Member of the House to prohibit all of his or her staff from having any official contact with the Member's spouse if such individual is a registered lobbyist or is employed or retained by a registered lobbyist to influence legislation.
Requires the Clerk of the House to: (1) post certain travel and financial disclosure reports on the public Internet site of the Clerk's Office; and (2) maintain such information for at least six years after receiving such information.
Six of Missouri's nine House members voted among the 396 to 22 majority. Congressman William Clay voted against the bill, Kenny Hulshof voted "present" and Rep. Emerson was absent.