House Democrat reintroduces bill to reduce lobbyist influence

House Democrat reintroduces bill to reduce lobbyist influence
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jimmy GomezJimmy GomezHouse Democrat reintroduces bill to reduce lobbyist influence John Kerry: GOP lawmaker against coronavirus package 'tested positive for being an ---hole' Lawmakers highlight flights back to DC for huge coronavirus vote MORE (D-Calif.) reintroduced a bill, first introduced by the late Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsDemocrat Kweisi Mfume wins House primary in Maryland Key races to watch in Tuesday's primaries The Postal Service collapse that isn't happening MORE (D-Md.), to reduce the influence of lobbyists and to close the so-called revolving door.

The Executive Branch Conflict of Interest Act was first introduced by Cummings in 2019. It was included in H.R. 1, the Democrats’ wide-ranging bill that passed the House in March but was not taken up by the GOP-controlled Senate.

“The late Elijah Cummings was a man of principle, someone whose commitment to service, fairness, and justice knew no bounds,” Gomez said in a press release. “He understood the importance of government officials using their positions to make a difference in our communities and to serve the people, not themselves. It is in this spirit that I proudly reintroduce the Executive Branch Conflicts of Interest Act to help close the revolving door between corporate America and the Executive Branch.” 

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Cummings, who served more than two decades in Congress, died in October from health complications.

The bill would ban companies from making so-called golden parachute payments that reward former employees for joining the government and strengthen recusal requirements to crack down on senior government officials acting in ways that benefit former employers or clients.

It would also prohibit former officials who oversaw federal contracts from joining private sector contracting firms and prohibit senior government officials from lobbying the agencies they worked for two years after leaving the federal government. Restrictions are currently in place for one year.