Pizza all around


Published: Sunday, January 12, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 11, 2003 at 9:43 p.m.
Who says there's no free lunch? Not the leadership of the U.S. House.
On their first day of business last week, the House leadership muscled through new rules that relax a previous prohibition on members accepting free food from lobbyists.
The House also decided that it would be OK for its members to accept free travel and lodging should registered charities invite them on junkets to far away places with strange-sounding names.
The undoing of the so-called "pizza rule," unfolded pretty much along party lines, as Republicans decided that they couldn't be bought by boxes of fried chicken, while Democrats decried the erosion of ethical conduct in the House.
"It's really a proposal that's in bad faith," Don Simon of Common Cause told reporters. "To surface this on the day Congress opens, gets the House off on a very bad foot."
Maybe, but look on the bright side. The rule is intended to make it easier for lobbyists to deliver fast food to hard working lawmakers when they are forced to toil away into the wee hours of the night.
Can congressional indigestion be far behind?

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