The Washington Times writes, "Supporters of campaign finance reform have always feared that the use of 'poison-pill' amendments would make the bill unpalatable to a majority of House members. But Republicans, apparently conceding that some type of bill is likely to pass, are now thinking their best chance is to try to remove the parts of the legislation they object to most. 'I think the whole poison-pill idea is almost dead,' said one Republican leadership official, who said the focus now is on 'realistic amendments' that will make the bill more workable." ( http://www.washtimes.com/national/20020207-101832.htm )
"But Republicans also know that the more amendments they can attach, the less likely the bill will be acceptable to a majority in the Senate. In that case, the two chambers would convene a conference committee to work out differences, and campaign finance reform supporters say the bill would probably die in committee."
The The Wall Street Journal offers a handy viewer's guide to today's big hearing, with trading card-style profiles of the expected witnesses, and this not-over-written lead: "Like characters from a Shakespearean drama, the Enron Corp. officials who are set to come to testify on Capitol Hill on Thursday are a band of once-close-knit colleagues who — depending on the secrets they know and are willing to divulge — have the potential to send each other to prison."
Both the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times look at Fastow's background and write about how those who've known him just can't believe it … The Times writes, "The picture that emerges is of a greedy, self-dealing executive whom others dared not cross. Friends say they find that image impossible to reconcile with the synagogue-going, happily married, stand-up guy they know. It's as though there were two Andy Fastows." ( http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-000009588feb07.story )?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dfrontpage ) and ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36238-2002Feb6.html )
The The Wall Street Journal previews today's announcement from House Financial Services Committee members and chiefs from the Securities and Exchange Commission and National Association of Securities Dealers "to unveil significant proposals for new analyst disclosure and stock-ownership requirements."
The Journal also has this: "Leaders of the Senate's investigation of the collapse of Enron Corp. are moving to repeal a tax law that encourages companies to issue stock options, saying the energy company's financial dealings show the provisions are being abused."
"The Enron Corp. debacle is increasing pressure on lawmakers to close a loophole in the nation's bankruptcy code that allows millionaires in Texas, Florida and several other states to declare bankruptcy — and keep their mansions," the Los Angeles Times reports. "[F]ive states — Texas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota — set no limit on how much can be shielded through this 'homestead exemption' … Now Senate Democrats are raising the prospect that this Texas-style exemption will shield Enron's executives from the harsh consequences of bankruptcy." ( http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-000009625feb07.story )?coll=la%2Dnews%2Da%5Fsection )