Business & Lobbying

Biden signs executive order invoking 2-year lobbying ban for appointees

President Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday that requires all political appointees to sign an ethics pledge including a ban on certain lobbying for two years after they leave the administration, which was designed to restore and maintain public trust in government. 

The order states that as a condition of employment, officials must commit themselves to not accept gifts from registered lobbyists and put bans on the so-called revolving door. It was one of 17 executive orders Biden signed on his first day in office.

The order says that appointees leaving government to lobby are banned for two years from lobbying any covered executive branch official or lobby for any foreign government. 

Former registered lobbyists working for the administration can’t within two years of their appointment participate in any matter on which they lobbied or engaged in, participate in specific issue area in which that matter falls, or seek employment with an agency they lobbied. 

“I commit to ethical choices of post-Government employment that do not raise the appearance that I have used my Government service for private gain, including by using confidential information acquired and relationships established for the benefit of future clients,” the executive order read. 

It also addressed the so-called golden parachute issue, which bans officials from accepting any salary or other cash payment from a former employer. 

Former President Trump on Tuesday, just hours before leaving office, signed an executive order lifting the five-year lobbying ban for members of his administration he had in place.

Biden faced pressure from progressives to have stricter bans on lobbying. In December, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) wrote to Biden seeking an ethics pledge that includes a total ban on lobbyists employed by corporations from serving in the administration.

Tags Donald Trump Ed Markey Elizabeth Warren Jeff Merkley Joe Biden Lobbying Political science Revolving door

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