Senators introduce lifetime lobbying ban for lawmakers
© Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of senators wants to ban lawmakers from ever becoming lobbyists after they leave Congress.  

GOP Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDurbin: Senators to release immigration bill Wednesday GOP senators eager for Romney to join them Gardner: Bipartisan DACA solution possible despite Trump's 's---hole countries' comment MORE (Colo.) and Democratic Sens. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDurbin: Senators to release immigration bill Wednesday Trump's 's---hole' controversy shows no sign of easing Dem senator: 'No question' Trump's 's---hole countries' comment is racist MORE (Colo.) and Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPawlenty opts out of Senate run in Minnesota EMILY’s List president: Franken did 'right thing for Minnesota' Dem pledges to ask all court nominees about sexual harassment history under oath MORE (Minn.) have introduced legislation that would impose a lifetime ban on lobbying for current lawmakers. 
 
"Washington has become all too comfortable with the spin of the revolving door," Bennet said. "It's long past time to enact these common-sense reforms."
 
Senators currently have a two-year "cooling off" period after they leave office, during which they are banned from lobbying. House lawmakers have a one-year ban. 
 
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The legislation would also extend one-year restrictions on who former staffers can lobby to six years and make it harder for former lobbyists to join congressional offices that they lobbied. 
 
Under Senate rules, senior staff members are banned from contacting the Senate for a year after leaving, and all former Senate employees face restrictions for a year on what contracts they can accept. 
 
Lawmakers have pushed for a lifetime ban on their colleagues becoming lobbyists, but the idea has failed to gain traction on Capitol Hill. 
 
Former versions of the bill introduced by Bennet have stalled in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 
 
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, more than 51 percent of members who either retired or were defeated in 2014 have gone on to work for lobbying firms.