Lobby Reform Slows Down As House Balks At New Limits
A PROPOSAL to ban most gifts by lobbyists to members of Congress - including meals and golf outings - is running into quiet but forceful opposition that has delayed House consideration of lobbying reform. (Campaign reform proves difficult, Page 1.)
Lawmakers in both parties have let their House leaders know privately that they don't want to lose certain benefits, said both Democratic and Republican aides, speaking only on condition of anonymity.
Other opponents say they fear stricter rules will become a trap for members of Congress who do nothing wrong but become ensnared in technicalities that can be exploited by political opponents.
Still others believe Congress is being stampeded by incorrect public perceptions of high living, and believe enacting further curbs would amount to an admission of guilt.
Speaker Thomas Foley (D) of Washington had scheduled action on a lobbyist disclosure bill for this week, which was to be designated ``reform week'' in the House.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. John Bryant (D) of Texas, was to include a provision barring any gifts by lobbyists that total more than $20 per occasion, or more than $50 in a year. The Senate put pressure on the House to act by passing a similar bill in May.
But Speaker Foley's plans were abruptly put on hold last week after Democratic and Republican leaders met privately. Instead, each party formed a four-person task force to take soundings from its membership. Studying science
Students should spend more time learning how science touches their lives rather than be forced into memorizing facts, a method too common in classrooms, a scientific society said this weekend.
To help the effort, the American Association for the Advancement of Science released guidelines on what pupils should know and be able to do in science, math, and technology by completion of Grades 2, 5, 8, and 12.
Project 2061 - the number refers to the year when Halley's Comet will next be visible - advocates teaching less, but doing it better.
Although benchmarks for knowledge are set, Project 2061 doesn't tell teachers how to achieve them. Curriculum models come next. These models will be influenced by the Clinton administration's Goals 2000 education reform effort.