Indiana Election 2011 | Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations

Ellsworth Proposes Changing Senate Rules on Lobbying

Brad Ellsworth's new proposals sound a familiar theme – cut down on the Washington lobbying which the former sheriff has tried to tie to his opponent.

Brad Ellsworth

Photo: Bill Shaw

Congressman Brad Ellsworth has proposed changes to Senate lobbying rules.

While Brad Ellsworth didn’t often mention Dan Coats by name, his proposals Tuesday sounded a familiar theme – cut down on the Washington lobbying which the former sheriff has tried to tie to the one-time Senator.

“So many times, what people intend to do – as opposed to public service and why people go to Washington, or any elected official – they use that to trampoline, or to bounce in to a more lucrative job,” Ellsworth said. “A lifetime ban sets the rules. People then are going to do the work of the people and not what it’s going to do to line their pockets down the road.”

Ellsworth proposes a lifetime ban on former senators lobbying Congress, as well as preventing former staffers from lobbying for six years – the same length as a Senate term.

In addition, the two-term Evansville congressman says he wants to reduce the number of votes necessary to kill a Senate filibuster from 60 to 55.

Ellsworth also proposes ending the Senate privilege of putting confidential “holds” on bills which prevents further discussion of them until the hold is lifted.