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 GardnerMark Kelly to be sworn in as senator on Wednesday Hillicon Valley: Trump fires top federal cybersecurity official, GOP senators push back | Apple to pay 3 million to resolve fight over batteries | Los Angeles Police ban use of third-party facial recognition software Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber vulnerabilities MORE (Colo.) and Democratic Sens. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHarris taps women of color for key senior staff positions The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms Overnight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases MORE (Colo.) and Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots The Hill's Morning Report - Biden inches closer to victory 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.