Friday, January 19, 2007

Lobbying-Reform Bill on Hold

Lobbying-Reform Bill on Hold

A Democratic attempt to shield Congress from grassroots pressure is still a threat, despite a stalemate over an unrelated amendment.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, predicts S. 1 with Section 220 will come to a vote. “We still need to strip out the provisions that will muzzle grassroots organizations and ultimately silence the citizens of this country," he said. Perkins added that almost all Republicans in the Senate are committed to support an amendment to strike the Section 220, which has been offered by Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah. "We still need some of the more moderate-to- conservative Democratic members to sign on," he said.

Bennett told the Senate the offending section “will have a chilling effect on honest, responsible, legitimate grassroots kind of activity, because the people who engage in that kind of activity will be afraid that their exposure to a $200,000 fine is too great. And it will be easier for them to say: Never mind." Bennett also said big-time lobbyists -- supposedly the real target of the legislation -- will be able to hire scores of lawyers to comply. "There will be a blizzard of reports coming from the big people who can afford to do this," he added, "and there will be a chilling effect on the little people who will be very nervous about the exposure we have built into this bill."

(Citizenlink; Jan. 18, 2007)

• Continue "watching and praying" over this bill. The action on S.1 may be stalled for now, but it is only a matter of time before the vote is called. Ask our Lord to stir the hearts of enough members of the Senate to uphold our own rights to freedom of speech by voting to SUPPORT the Bennet Amendment 20 to S.1. Stand in faith, believing . . . • "For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corin. 5:7)