Lipinski Helps Bring More Openness and Accountability to Congress

Washington, DC - On Thursday and Friday, the first two days of the 110th Congress, Congressman Lipinski joined a near unanimous majority to pass rules changes aimed at increasing openness and accountability in the House of Representatives.  These reforms were offered by the new Democratic majority and are aimed at ending the culture of corruption that existed in 109th Congress.

"After the ethics violations that plagued the previous Congress, resulting in four resignations and several more federal investigations, it was obvious that Congress needed reform," said Lipinski.  "By taking up this issue of reform in the first days of the 110th Congress, Democrats are making good on our pledge to clean up the ‘people's house'."

The rules changes ban all gifts from lobbyists, prohibit lobbyist-financed travel, require pre-approval by the Ethics Committee for Member travel paid by outside groups, and require ethics training for all Members and staff.  Furthermore, the rules changes bring Congressional spending under control by requiring full disclosure of congressional earmarks and by preventing the House of Representatives from considering any bill that would increase the federal budget deficit. 

Also, on Thursday, January 4th, the 110th Congress was sworn in, marking the official beginning of Democratic control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.  History was made as Nancy Pelosi was chosen to be the first female Speaker of the House, breaking what Pelosi called the "marble ceiling" for women in Congress.  Congressman Lipinski, joined by his wife Judy, was sworn in by Speaker Pelosi for his second term as the representative of Illinois' Third District. 

"I am honored to once again be serving the people of the Third District as their Representative in the House," said Lipinski.  "Third District priorities such as the environment, energy, transportation, health care, education, Social Security, Medicare, and veterans' issues will continue to be my top priorities in the 110th Congress.  I look forward to being able to accomplish many great things for the people of my district and for all Americans." 

(January 5, 2007)


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