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 GardnerGun control group alleges campaign finance violations in lawsuit against NRA Colorado Supreme Court signs off on new congressional map Colorado remap plan creates new competitive district MORE (Colo.) and Democratic Sens. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetSenators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall Sununu exit underscores uncertain GOP path to gain Senate majority 'An earthquake': GOP rides high after Democrats' Tuesday shellacking MORE (Colo.) and Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFranken rules out challenge against Gillibrand for Senate seat Franken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Al Franken on another Senate run: 'I'm keeping my options open' 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. 
 
Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterOn The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Senators huddle on path forward for SALT deduction in spending bill Biden reconciliation bill faces Senate land mines MORE (D-Mont.) introduced legislation earlier this year that would place a five-year ban on lawmakers from lobbying their former colleagues.