More Lobbying Reform on the Horizon?
By Elliot S. Berke
If the ABA has its way, Congress will significantly reform the thresholds for lobbyist registration. The ABA House of Delegates, acting on the recommendation of a special task force on lobbying reform, voted this week to support significant reforms. A recent article in Roll Call took a good look at the issue, reporting:
The ABA wants to narrow the threshold at which a lobbyist must register from 20 percent or more of the time spent on lobbying activities for clients to some “reasonable” but unspecified amount that would be “designed to avoid imposing undue financial burdens” on smaller or one-man shops. The association also proposed a two-year window during which lobbyists could not lobby Members for whom they have raised money or raise money for Members they have lobbied in the past.
Don’t expect congressional action any time soon, however. Congress has been more inclined to react to scandal rather than calls for reform when looking to change lobbying law (such as the passage of HLOGA in 2007).