Earlier in the week, U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R, Calif.) called for an amendment to a financial reform bill that would bar any company at least five percent owned by the government from lobbying Congress. The measure was shot down Thursday in a 9-13 vote by the financial services conference committee. The requested amendment was clearly aimed at preventing General Motors and Chrysler from spending money to influence our nation's leaders. All but one Democrat voted against the proposed amendment. Democrat Barney Frank (D, Mass) reportedly called the measure 'unconstitutional,' adding that the first amendment protects the right to lobby congress.
Issa (shown above) is on the record as being against the government bailout and ownership of GM and Chrysler, and he reportedly put the measure up for vote because he felt that it didn't make sense for the automakers to use government money to ask for more government money. The amendment would have blocked the use of lobbyists by any federally controlled entity unless the government cedes any direct or indirect influence over said companies. GM has spent $4.3 million and Chrysler $2.3 million lobbying congress since the two companies exited bankruptcy one year ago.
[Source: Detroit Free Press | Image: Alex Wong/Getty]