Senate approves lobbying reform bill

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The Senate Thursday passed a bill that would crack down on gift giving by lobbyists and require lawmakers to disclose more about fundraising efforts. The healthcare industry, including nursing homes, spends millions of dollars on lobbying efforts each year.

Under the bill, lawmakers and political committees would have to disclose those lobbyists who raise $15,000 or more for them within a six-month period. It also would bar lawmakers from taking gifts from lobbyists or their clients.

Democrats are boasting that the bill marks a landmark effort in congressional ethics reform. Opponents have charged it is not tough enough. The president, meanwhile, has said he has not decided whether to sign it.