President George W. Bush signed a bill Friday that will require lawmakers to disclose more about their efforts to fund pet projects and raise money from lobbyists, a measure that backers call the biggest ethics reform in decades.
The new law will require lawmakers seeking targeted spending projects, or earmarks, to divulge their plans in advance. Lawmakers and political committees must identify lobbyists who raise $15,000 or more for them within a six-month period by bundling campaign donations from many people.
The law, drafted by congressional Democrats in response to lobbying scandals that landed two former Republican lawmakers in prison, will bar House and Senate members from taking gifts from lobbyists or their clients.
The scandals were a factor in the Democrats' victory over the Republicans in last November's elections and their takeover of Congress.