"I am really disappointed that we have not been able to seize this moment in history," said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) at a presser on the GOP attempts to kill the ethics bill.
The Senate last night, on healthy bipartisan roll calls, voted to approve amendments to a pending overall ethics bill that would:
*ban senators from taking discount flights on corporate jets.
*ban lobbyists and special interests "from throwing lavish parties honoring Members at party conventions."
*strengthen a variety of gift bans and transparency requirements.
Nothing will happen, however because the GOP senate leaders--headed by Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnel (R-Ky.) threw in what's called a poison pill, giving the president a line item veto. Republicans know Democratic leaders will give them a separate vote on line item veto provisions. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just pledged to do it at a press conference.
Whatever the merits of a line item veto, tossing in a bid for a line item veto in the ethics bill puts the brakes on getting it done. The House already passed its version as part of its 100 day agenda. The more deliberative Senate will take its time.
click below for statement from Obama and reform groups..