Enactment of the bill would mark the most sweeping ethics reforms since the Watergate era, requiring lawmakers for the first time to disclose fundraising by lobbyists, tightening rules on gift-giving to staff and lawmakers, forcing lobbyists to disclose their contacts, clamping down on members’ junkets and requiring lawmakers to disclose when they seek earmarked funds for projects in their home states.
Despite having failed to advance Congressional ethics reform during the years his own party was in control, McCain thought this bill was too timid.
But a bloc of conservative Republicans said the plan does not go far enough in shining a light on earmarks, the source of recent corruption scandals on the Hill. They slammed their Republican colleagues for backing the earmark disclosure requirements, which they said would allow members to hide their pet projects by exploiting loopholes in the legislation.
He lent his reputation as a reformer to the same Republican leaders who presided over the biggest pork-barrel spending in history.
This unfortunately isn't the first time McCain has gone soft on transparency in politics.