Lobbying Scandals Should Not Impact CU Trade Activities
WASHINGTON-Many Americans inside the Capitol Beltway and out are waiting to see what politicians are going to do about the recent lobbying scandals affecting Congress. Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, notorious now for `gifts' provided to various lawmakers, touched off a wild fire of lobbying reform efforts when he began naming names of who had given what to whom. Congressman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) was forced out of the chairmanship of the House Administration Committee because of his ties to Abramoff, but has so far retained chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity. "I think it's at the back of everyone's head," CUNA Vice President for Communications Pat Keefe commented. "We'll just keep talking our issues and providing information on where we stand." "I would imagine that there will be legislation," NAFCU Director of Political Affairs Murray Chanow surmised. "There are seven proposals out there right now. I imagine before this lobbying issue is over, there will be a dozen of them." "I think they need to take some action," Keefe said, "because the issue has come to the public." What that action will look like is anyone's guess. At this point, Chanow said, Hill staffers have turned him down for lunches or even coffee. "I personally don't believe a member of Congress can be bought for a $50 lunch for his legislative director," he said. Both CUNA and NAFCU have both unequivocally said they do not offer Abramoff-style "boondoggles" or "junkets." "Whatever reform they pass, we're just going to have to adjust how we do business," Chanow concluded.