Incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, told reporters that Democrats would move quickly on rules changes.
"On Thursday and Friday, we're going to adopt rules that will change the way the people's House operates to ensure its integrity, to ensure its openness and to ensure its transparency," Hoyer said Wednesday.
Tighter restrictions on spending earmarks, lobbying, gifts and travel will be proposed, Democratic House leaders said.
Yes, indeed, in the afterglow of an electoral win which put Democrats in charge of Congress, the promises, as usual were fast and furious:
Pelosi then moved on to promote her party's agenda.
She urged Congress to hit the ground running and pass legislation quickly to ensure it will be the "most honest and open Congress in history."
Yes, dear friend, sit back, relax, the "culture of corruption" is gone and the era of the open and honest Congress with tighter restrictions of spending earmarks is upon us.
Dramatic increases in earmarks — pet projects quietly slipped into spending bills — figured prominently in Republican scandals that helped Democrats win control of Congress last year. But with Democrats now in charge, the practice is still thriving.
A bill the Senate approved last week to authorize water projects contains 446 earmarks, and the House version has 692.
Who knew that all the Democrats were doing was changing the name of what was once called the "culture of corruption" to "an open and honest Congress".
But, you say, is it really worse? Uh, yeah:
The Senate bill, with its 446 projects, has more earmarks than a version drafted last year when Republicans were in charge. That bill had 272.
Either way, the earmarks were too much, but it seems that, as usual, the fine sounding rhetoric had little to do with the plans or reality of what Democrats planned to do.
"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss," grumbled Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
Heh ... yeah, there's a surprise. Thank goodness we finally have an "open and honest" Congress which is focused on improving the integrity of the institution, right? Another political promise fulfilled.
Clearly, what Congress need to do is just codify all their current practices into the OHCA of 2007, the Open and Honest Congress Act of 2007, which like all recent bills, will of do the exact opposite of the name of the bill. Then they can just say, "Well, we passed the Open and Honest Congress Act, what more do you want?"