[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] has passed the Lobbying Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 [HR 4975 summary], a bill to regulate lobbying and ethics, by a narrow 217-213 margin [roll call vote]. The bill imposes stricter reporting requirements on lobbyists and requires lawmakers to have privately-sponsored travel and gifts approved. Opponents criticized the bill for not being strong enough; the Senate version passed in March [JURIST report] is thought to be stricter.
The bill was introduced in January [JURIST report] by House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) [official website] after the scandals involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Congressman Tom Delay [JURIST news archives]. Hastert has promised to appoint negotiators from the House to meet with Senators to iron out the differences in the two bills. Reuters has more.