Hastert’s plan to reform Congress’ relation with lobbyists is kind of, well, sucky. As WaPo notes:
According to lobbyists and ethics experts, even if Hastert’s proposal is enacted, members of Congress and their staffs could still travel the world on an interest group’s expense and eat steak on a lobbyist’s account at the priciest restaurants in Washington.
The only requirement would be that whenever a lobbyist pays the bill, he or she must also hand the lawmaker a campaign contribution. Then the transaction would be perfectly okay.
So lobbyists, if you are going to bribe a Congressman by buying him dinner in a Parisian restaurant, be sure to tip his campaign coffers as well. Then everything’ll be hunky-dory.