Watchdog groups, meanwhile, say several amendments aimed at increasing disclosure, tightening conduct by lawmakers, and establishing an outside ethics office need to be added before they will offer their support.
Madden defended the bill as an important step forward. “There will always be a cottage industry of critics who do only that — just criticize,” he said. “But these are important reforms, and they’re geared toward the public’s right to know.”
Rules spokeswoman Jo Maney said that lawmakers are being asked to submit amendments by Tuesday evening.
Watchdogs said they are expecting at least four amendments from Reps. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) and Marty Meehan (D-Mass.), provided they are allowed.
The two campaign finance reformers are set to team on an amendment that would establish an Office of Public Integrity to oversee compliance with ethics rules. Meehan plans to offer further amendments to force new disclosures on grass-roots lobbying campaigns and slow the revolving door between Congress and K Street. Shays will propose an amendment forcing lawmakers to pay charter rates when flying on corporate jets, insiders said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.