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March 3, 2017

Public Citizen Applauds Sen. Tester’s Legislation to Strengthen Revolving Door Restrictions for Congress, Executive Branch

Statement of Craig Holman, Government Affairs Lobbyist, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

Note: Today, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) introduced legislation that would strengthen the revolving door restrictions on members of Congress and the executive branch, extending the current ban on former lawmakers lobbying Congress and administration officials lobbying the executive branch to five years after leaving public office. The current “cooling off” period is one year in the U.S. House of Representatives, two years in the U.S. Senate, one year for senior executive branch officials and two years for high-ranking officials such as Cabinet members.

It is a widely accepted truism that the place to get rich in Washington is on “K Street” – and no one benefits more than former members of Congress and senior executive branch officials who become lobbyists. The revolving door from government to K Street is spinning out of control and should alarm every American. The prospects of lucrative employment at a lobbying firm could well taint a public official’s actions while in office. After leaving office, former senior officials benefit from their connections inside Congress and the executive branch by lobbying for wealthy special interests who can afford to buy that kind of insider influence. Sen. Tester’s legislation imposing a five-year ban on former lawmakers lobbying Congress and administration officials lobbying the executive branch goes a long way toward cooling off the monetary value of those insider connections.

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