Dem lawmaker offers ‘Drain the Swamp Act’
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

A senior House Democrat says he wants to help enforce President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Trump Jr. declines further Secret Service protection: report Report: Mueller warned Manafort to expect an indictment MORE’s expected lobbying ban with new legislation.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is channeling Trump’s pledge to “drain the swamp” with an eponymous tongue-in-cheek bill introduced on Thursday: the DRAIN the SWAMP Act (Deter Revolving-Door Appointments in Our Nation; Stop Washington Appointees From Becoming Manipulative Petitioners).

Trump’s team recently announced they plan to bar political appointees from registering as lobbyists for five years after leaving his administration. 

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“I want to help him in this effort,” DeFazio said on the House floor. “Unfortunately, his proposal lacks any enforcement mechanism. I want this to be more than a press release.”

DeFazio’s measure would reflect that proposal with a five-year lobbying ban after leaving the White House, as well as a permanent prohibition on any lobbying on behalf of a foreign government. 

The bill would also impose penalties for violating Trump's proposed lobbying restrictions to a maximum of five years in prison. Current administration appointees can’t lobby for two years after leaving the executive branch, or else face up to five years in prison or a maximum $50,000 fine. DeFazio's bill would apply the same penalties to Trump's five-year ban and lobbying for foreign governments. 

The House is expected to adjourn for the year later Thursday, meaning DeFazio’s legislation will expire with the end of the current session of Congress. But he plans to re-introduce it in January and present it to Trump’s transition team for support. 

This story was updated at 3:31 p.m.