AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Seeking to recover their standing with voters in the wake of a lobbying scandal, House Republicans are considering a total ban on privately funded congressional trips, the lawmaker leading the reform effort said Wednesday. Rep. David Dreier, R-Glendora, said GOP leaders were “seriously considering” the need to eliminate all privately financed travel. “That would be a very strong statement. We want to be bold,” said Dreier, chairman of the House Rules Committee. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., asked Dreier to come up with an overhaul of lobbying ethics rules after lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to felony charges involving his influence-peddling activities in Washington. With the House still off for its January recess, Dreier said it will be weeks before he comes up with definitive legislation. He said he also wanted to deal with the “revolving door” issue – lawmakers who become well-paid lobbyists after leaving office. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., co-sponsor of one of several lobbying ethics bills that have been introduced, said legislation must “deal with comprehensive top-to-bottom cleaning” that also includes greater transparency and better enforcement of the rules. Current congressional rules prohibit lobbyists from paying for travel for members of Congress and their staff. There have been incidents “which would clearly be seen as abuse of that,” Dreier said. Abramoff was cited for arranging lavish trips for members and their staff, including trips for former Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, to the Mariana Islands and to Scotland, where he played golf at St. Andrews. A total ban on privately funded travel is likely to meet some resistance from lawmakers accustomed to fact-finding trips arranged by think tanks and nonprofit organizations as an alternative to taxpayer-funded trips. “There’s a difference between a fact-finding trip that you do with the Aspen Institute and these trips funded by lobbyists and corporations where you do an hour of work and then play golf at St. Andrews all day,” said Jennifer Crider, a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.