Maybe a Cheap Lunch is Okay for Congress

Democrats and Republicans think Congress might have gone too far on gift ban.

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Democrats and Republicans think that Congress might have gone too far in barring lobbyists from opening their wallets at the local McDonald's or Quiznos. We hear that both sides are starting talks about allowing lobbyists to buy staff aides or members a cheap sandwich or drink, reversing course from the total ban recently enacted. Under consideration: letting lawmakers and aides receive a snack worth $10. A $50 annual cap would be placed on spending per lawmaker or top aide by a lobbyist. Why? Lawmakers actually rely on info from lobbyists, but the new rules have K Street afraid of getting too close to policymakers. While it would be a major compromise of the 2007 gift and meal ban, the limit is still a far cry from the previous $50-per-meal cap.