President Clinton accused monied special interests Saturday of throwing up "bogus arguments" against reform legislation aimed at reducing the influence of paid lobbyists on Congress and government.

"Don't you believe it," Clinton told Americans in his weekly radio address, urging the Senate to approve the bill in the coming week.Clinton, who taped his address on Friday, said the legislation was "bad news for people who use paid professional lobbyists to influence legislation and don't want you to know what they're doing. That's all it does."

The legislation, which cleared the House last week, would expand registration requirements for paid lobbyists and require them to disclose who they are lobbying on what issues and how much they are paid. It also would impose a virtual ban on gifts to members of Congress.

A network of mostly conservative interest groups is organizing to fight the bill, arguing that it would stifle their ability to carry on grassroots lobbying. They say it would impinge on their freedom to contact members to generate calls and letters to Congress on matters of interest.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said such worries were unfounded. Only paid professional lobbyists would be required to register, not unpaid volunteers or members of grassroots organizations, he said. Religious groups are specifically exempt, Levin added.

Clinton said the legislation was needed to change a climate in which "our political system is still too often an obstacle to change, not an instrument of progress."

He cited the gun lobby's aggressive - but unsuccessful - effort to derail the crime bill and the intense lobbying campaign against health-care reform.

He said the bill would "go a long way toward taking government out of the hands of the influence industry. It's very tough, and it will change the way Washington does business."