GOP senators willing to consider disclosure of lobbying meetings

Two influential Republican senators said Tuesday evening they would consider requiring lawmakers to publicly disclose meetings with lobbyists.

Members of Congress have balked at similar proposals in the past but Republican lawmakers didn’t reject the idea outright on Tuesday.

“Because you deserve to know when your elected officials are meeting with lobbyists, I ask Congress to do what the White House has already done: put that information online,” Obama told a national television audience.

Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said he could support such a proposal.

“Sure, why not?” said Cornyn.

But Cornyn said the proposal was more an effort at political posturing than substantive policymaking.

“I meet with all sorts of people; to me it seemed like more fluff than substance,” Cornyn said. “But I’m generally for as much transparency as we can get in government so I’m not opposed to it.”

Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), an influential Republican centrist, said she was willing to review online disclosure of meetings between lawmakers and lobbyists.

“I haven’t thought about that but I would certainly look at it,” Snowe thing. “Transparency is always important.”

Snowe said she has disclosed her spending earmarks online and would consider doing the same for lobbyist meetings.

She called the idea “interesting.”