Business & Lobbying

Bennet reintroduces bill to ban lawmakers from becoming lobbyists

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Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), a 2020 White House hopeful, reintroduced legislation on Thursday to shut the “revolving door” between Congress and K Street and ban lawmakers from ever becoming lobbyists.

Bennet, who has introduced the Close the Revolving Door Act in every Congress since 2010, is introducing it with Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) this year.

{mosads}“Americans should be confident that their elected leaders go to Washington to represent them, not to audition for high-paying lobbying jobs for special interests,” Bennet said in a statement. 

The bill would also restrict staff from lobbying for six years after leaving Capitol Hill. Currently, staffers can’t lobby their boss for one year, and leadership and committee staffers have longer restrictions. The measure would also ban lobbyists from becoming staffers for members or committees they lobbied for six years.

Bennet’s bill would also create a website, Lobbyists.gov, for reporting lobbying activities and require lobbying entities to report the work of nonlobbyist employees who are former members or former senior congressional staff, including descriptions of their job responsibilities. 

Other 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have been vowing to get tough on the lobbying industry and recently released campaign proposals. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), for example, has proposed a tax on annual lobbying expenditures of at least $500,000 a year, new definitions of what constitutes a lobbyist and bans on lobbying for foreign entities.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has also proposed a ban on corporate funding for conventions, as well as a lobbying ban on former members of Congress and senior staffers.

Warren and Sanders were among 12 Democratic presidential candidates on the debate stage Tuesday night in Ohio. Bennet did not qualify for the debate.

Tags Bernie Sanders Cory Gardner Elizabeth Warren Jon Tester Michael Bennet
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