Congress Slaps Self on Wrist -- Really, Really Softly

We've never thought of Tom Delay as a real beacon of government ethics, but it's true that his example has inspired more members of Congress to tell the truth than since that time Hastert spiked the cloakroom watercooler with Ecstasy. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is the most recent convert to full disclosure; on Friday she filed delinquent reports on trips paid for by "outside sponsors" going back to 2000. The three trips were worth about $8,580 -- all but $540 of it for a trip to Taiwan, which strikes us as kind of chintzy but then again, you only get what you pay for.

According to the WP, Pelosi's filing is "among hundreds of revision from members of both parties who have amended missing or incomplete reports as scrutiny of lawmaker travel has intensified," which would seem to create a lot of work for that beleaguered House Ethics Committee. Luckily, Congressmen don't like to work very hard: "Committee members have shown no appetite for taking up all those cases and are considering an amnesty for reporting violations, although not for serious matters such as accepting a trip from a lobbyist, which House rules forbid." In related news, Congress is considering easing sentencing for federal offenders who did it "because everyone else was."

Pelosi Turns In Delinquent Reports for 3 Sponsor-Funded Trips [WP]


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