Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ford Challenges Republican Opponents To Tell Tennesseans How They Would Vote On Ethics Bill

U.S. Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. today asked his Republican opponents to tell Tennesseans how they would vote on a weak lobbying reform bill scheduled for a vote today. In a statement, Ford said:

“I will vote no on this weak ethics reform bill because it does very little to rebuild people's confidence in Congress' integrity. To fix it, we should ban gifts to Congress, the Senate and their aides, double to two years the ban on lobbying by former members of Congress, end lavish junkets paid for by private groups and end all pork spending until we balance the budget. Even then, we should force up or down votes on every piece of pork submitted.

"This bill fails even the basic test of common sense. Ethics reform should fix the problem, instead of encouraging and pardoning the same behavior. My Republican colleagues have botched it again. Tennesseans deserve to know how Van Hilleary, Bob Corker and Ed Bryant would vote on this bill.”

The bill put forth by the Republican majority would leave unchanged current ethics rules, which allowed convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, convicted Republican Congressman Duke Cunningham and indicted Congressman Tom Delay, to either break the law or be accused of abuses of power.

113 Days

Days of Congressional Inaction on Ethics

Above is the number of days that have passed since Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman.

It is also the number of days in which Congress has failed to pass an ethics reform bill that would limit private travel, ski and golf junkets, and would call for a full disclosure of expenses by lobbyists on members of Congress.

It is time for Congress to step up and pass an ethics reform bill that would do all of the above. In addition, it is time to end the pork barrel spending system as we know it and establish an independent ethics commission that would review ethics complaints against members of Congress.

I am proud Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is fighting for that reform!

Read Congressman Ford's call for reform of the House rules here!