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 GardnerSenate advances conservation fund bill, House introduces companion John Hickenlooper defies subpoena to appear for virtual hearing on ethics complaint Senate Republicans urge Trump to tone down rhetoric on protests MORE (Colo.) and Democratic Sens. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocratic senators kneel during moment of silence for George Floyd 21 senators urge Pentagon against military use to curb nationwide protests Warren condemns 'horrific' Trump tweet on Minneapolis protests, other senators chime in MORE (Colo.) and Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPolitical world mourns loss of comedian Jerry Stiller Maher to Tara Reade on timing of sexual assault allegation: 'Why wait until Biden is our only hope?' Democrats begin to confront Biden allegations 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) TesterSenate confirms Trump's watchdog for coronavirus funds Montana barrels toward blockbuster Senate fight The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip MORE (D-Mont.) introduced legislation earlier this year that would place a five-year ban on lawmakers from lobbying their former colleagues.