Senate

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 Gardner (Colo.) and Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.) and Al Franken (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. 
 
{mosads}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 Tester (D-Mont.) introduced legislation earlier this year that would place a five-year ban on lawmakers from lobbying their former colleagues.
Tags Al Franken Cory Gardner Jon Tester Michael Bennet
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