The Senate yesterday defeated new [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] major changes in a [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] code of ethics for senators.
In a 27-to-30 vote, it turned down a proposal by Lowell P. Weigher (R- Conn.) to rely solely on financial disclosures to police senatorial conflicts, dropping restriction on outsides earning.
[WORD ILLEGIBLE] , on a 72-to-51 vote, it rejected [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] by John A. Durkin (D-N.H.) and Joe Biden Jr. (D-Del.) to bar senators from receiving any speaking fees from organizations that have registered as lobbyists or maintain political action committees.
Both votes represented a determination by a majority of the Senate to sticks with a compromise ethics code drafted by a special committee blinded by a Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis) without making any major alterations.
The Nelson code contains detailed public disclosure provisions on the outside earnings of a senator and his family, plus less detailed public disclosure provisions on dividends and interest received and on wealth and property holdings.
It also bare a senator from receiving more than [WORD ILLEGIBLE] - or 15 per cent of his salary-annually in fees for speaches and articles. It prohibits engaging in the practice of law, medicine, architecture and other professions while a senator. It forbids receipt of gifts over $100 from lobbying organizations or organizations with political action committees. It forbids him to serve on the board of a corporation.
Weicken contended that disclosure alone would be sufficient to let the public know it a senator were in conflict-of-interest. He proposed being up the disclosure provisions by requiring precise reporting on dividends, interest and wealth, and by disclosure of tax returns. At the same time, his amendment would have wiped out the restrictions on speaking fees, the practice of law or medicine, receipt of gifts and service on corporation boards.
Nelson supporters said they had recided that disclosure alone was inadequate and that the added restrictions were needed and Weicker was defeated.
The Durkin-Biden amendment went in the opposite direction from Weicker. Instead of dropping the $8,625 ceiling on speaking fees, it would have tightenedit up by forbidding fees from certain types of groups altogether.