This debate is perfectly situated as Congress reconvenes next year with Lobbyist reform at the top of the agenda. 2006 was a year of proposed reforms but no actual changes. The Democrats are expected to facilitate their majority in Congress to reopen the discussion. The Congressional debate was sparked by the Jack Abramoff scandal. Abramoff, a prominent Washington lobbyist, was sentenced to 5 years in jail and a $21 million fine for significantly altering major pieces of legislation by abusing the system. The question now is whether Abramoff was just a bad apple or the result of a bad system. The midterm elections in November proved that Americans are concerned about corruption within the government. And so starts the Congressional session of 2007 and your January month of debate.
As always, your questions, comments, results, and feedback are welcome at the Finalist Files Forum as well as the “Public Forum Debate” Group. I’m excited to see this debate play out in rounds. Good Luck.
Resolved: That lobbyists negatively influence the legislative process in the United States.