WASHINGTON (CNN) - Illinois Sen. Barack Obama criticized the cozy relationship between lawmakers and lobbyists, and pledged his support for the ethics bill pending in the Senate on Thursday morning.
"It is time that we had a Congress that tells drug companies or oil companies or the insurance industry that while they may get a seat at the table in Washington, they don't get to buy every single chair," Obama said on the Senate floor.
The ethics bill, which passed overwhelmingly in the House on Tuesday, includes provisions for banning gifts paid for by lobbyists and forces members of Congress to disclose pet projects.
Obama said he will also continue to work to create an independent department responsible for policing ethical matters in Congress. "So long as we are our own prosecutors, judge, jury, the public will never have complete trust in our decisions," he said.
–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich