Making Congress more open and stripping away anything that smacks of secrecy is hugely important to me. That’s why I voted for this bill. But while it claimed to be about openness, it could have done much more to focus this body on the American people and not on back room deal-making.

This bill also illustrates another broken Democrat campaign promise. They pledged to double the current year-long ban on lobbying by former Members of Congress. But this legislation keeps the old one year ban in place.

I’m also disappointed by how it does not reform the bundling rules as much as a previous House-passed measure. That measure required disclosure of all lobbyist-bundled campaign contributions over $5,000, but the watered-down provisions in this bill will allow bundling of up to $14,999. That’s hardly a convincing step in the direction of reform. 

We can do better than this. With Republican reform last year we proved that we can make the entire process open—why not continue the trend this year? The way this bill has been methodically weakened over time is disappointing. Americans deserve more, and I hope that we can deliver real substance next time around.