It is encouraging that amid all the mis-administration, corruption and pork slinging, which has characterized the GOP-contolled Congress, that dedicated public servants like Representative Henry Waxman continue to produce high-quality public interest law.
Partly in response to this Administration’s insistance upon a right to hide their contacts with industry lobbyists, such as VP Cheney’s ‘energy task force’, which was really little more than high-level secret lobbying contacts, the Government Reform Committee has approved a bipartisan bill sponsored by Reps. Waxman and Davis by unanimous vote that requires the disclosure of such contacts between lobbyists and executive branch officials.
The bill also prevents lobbyists and contractors who become government officials, as so many have in the current Administration, from handing out favors or contracts to their former clients or employers.
The bill also beefs up protections for government whistleblowers, bans the undisclosed use of government propaganda, and restricts the use of ‘pseudo-classification’ to withhold government information from the public.
In all, this is an excellent bill that targets several of the abuses which this Administration has engaged in systematically to mislead and defraud the public, and enrich their cronies and contributors at the public’s expense.
I encourage everyone to contact their Congressional Representatives and express your approval of the important set of reforms contained in H.R. 5112. It isn’t often this Congress gets it right, after all; they need some stroking when they do.