Of course the system needs to be reformed.
Legislators get popped for stuff they didn't eat or drink, merely to spread the costs around under the rules.
Electronic access? Sure. a not bad idea, except that in reality, few will care.
Pop the lobbyists a fee? The testimony against it is likely the case: since when is the exercise of the 1st Amendment something you can charge a fee for?
No, the idiocy in this case is the mis-definition for the term "per diem."
"Per diem" in this instance isn't for meals: it's for housing... and even then, the amount doesn't come close to what regular state employees are paid per day to live away from home for months at a time.
Or is Brancaccio advocating that these senators live as far away from their homes as 300 miles for months on end and not be paid anything for their housing expense?
So, when Lou stupidly writes something like this:
Finally, we urge them to close a loophole that allows lawmakers to claim a $90-a-day per diem even if they dine with lobbyists. That money comes from the pockets of taxpayers....like on so many other things, it's because he's too ignorant to understand what it's for.
So, as a result, Brancaccio's brilliant idea is to take what amounts to rent money from the Senators if they eat at a lobbyist-paid meal.
Perfect. And just another indicator of how genuinely ignorant this slimeball really is on this... and obviously so many other subjects he babbles about.