AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventThe bill, known as the Lobbying Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, is scheduled for a vote in the House as early as Wednesday. In a prepared statement, Dreier urged Republicans and Democrats to join him in supporting the bill, saying it “will show the American people that we can cut through the rhetoric and work together for a Congress beyond reproach.” Dreier started working on lobbying and ethics reform in February at the request of House Speaker Dennis Hastert. The effort is an attempt to respond to corruption scandals like those involving former House Leader Tom DeLay and lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Both men are Republicans. The bill would eliminate retirement benefits for members of Congress convicted of a crime; prohibit anonymous spending provisions from being inserted into legislation, and temporarily ban privately funded travel for members. “It is a good package,” said Ron Bonjean, spokesman for Hastert, about the Dreier bill. “We’re getting the job done.” In January, Republican leaders pledged to bring forward bold reforms to curb the influence of lobbyists and remove the taint of scandal on Capitol Hill. Now, as the House prepares to vote this week on the bill that resulted from these efforts, its chief author said the reforms have been watered down. Rep. David Dreier, R-Glendora, said he faced resistance in pushing for strict limits on certain lobbying activities, such as a total ban on privately funded travel, and so had to scale back the final version. “Absolutely – the bill I introduced is not as rigorous as the proposals I put forward,” Dreier said Thursday. “A lot of people have been resistant to change.” The travel ban would expire at the end of the congressional session, at which point guidelines for allowable travel would be put together by the House Ethics Committee. This is one of many weaknesses in the bill, critics argue. They say the reforms fall well short of what is needed to clean up Washington and ensure lawmakers are not wooed by the deep pockets of lobbyists. Even if the bill has shortcomings, Dreier has little to fear on Election Day, said Jonathan Wilcox, a professor at USC Annenberg School for Communication. “I’d go so far as to say at the end of the day it is a political winner for him,” Wilcox added, noting that Dreier can tell voters he tried to bring about change. Dreier did run afoul of one of his customary allies in the process of forming the bill. In recent weeks, he decided to take a slight detour from ethics reform to push a bill that severely limits campaign contributions 527 groups, which are named after a provision in the tax code. Conservative columnist George Will slammed the Glendora Republican for “traducing the Constitution and disgracing conservatism.” “He’s just wrong,” Dreier said. “I was basically following the lead put forward by Common Cause,” the generally liberal good-government group. [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4458160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!