Clinton Likely to Sign Lobbyist Bill Measure Requires Public Report of Employers, Efforts, Earnings

Article excerpt

Congress on Saturday sent President Bill Clinton the first major overhaul of lobbying laws since 1946, after 18 days of unusual post-passage delaying actions.

The bill, which Clinton is expected to sign, will require thousands of lobbyists to report publicly who hires them to lobby on what issues and how much they are paid.

About 6,000 lobbyists are currently registered; perhaps three to 10 times more will have to register.

The bill was passed 98-0 in the Senate on July 25 and 421-0 in the House on Nov. 29.

But the Senate held on for more than two weeks in efforts to amend it after passage.

In July, when the Senate passed the bill, Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., wrote an amendment to prevent lobbying by nonprofit organizations that receive federal grants.

But he discovered that the language he used, by including contracts and grants, affected Blue Cross and Blue Shield as well as other health maintenance organizations that do business with the government.

So he wrote another version, deleting the word contract from the list of connections to federal money that would bar lobbying by a recipient. …