March 3, 2016
The Revolving Door Leads to Regulatory Capture
Forum Spotlights Industry Influence Over the Rulemaking Process
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public Citizen applauds the Administrative Conference of the United States for hosting a forum today on Capitol Hill that shined a spotlight on the problem of regulatory capture due to a revolving door between industry and government. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) spoke at the event. Panels at the forum discussed how to measure regulatory capture in the rulemaking context, whether weak regulatory enforcement is evidence of capture, and possible solutions to special-interest influence.
Earlier this week, Public Citizen spearheaded a letter (PDF) from 18 organizations that was sent to the 2016 presidential candidates in both parties, asking them to commit not to appoint any recipient of a “government service golden parachute” bonus to a financial agency. The letter also asked the candidates to require future financial service regulators to recuse themselves from official actions that could benefit or favor previous employers or clients from the previous two years.
“The revolving door is a pernicious influence-peddling scheme that, if left unchecked, can undermine the very integrity of government,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “Today’s event shined a spotlight on the need to close the rapidly spinning revolving door between government and industry,” she added.
“Closing the revolving door between big business and government agencies is the right way to reform our regulatory system and will ensure our government is serving the interests of American consumers, working families and small businesses instead of big corporations,” said Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “Unfortunately, this Congress is focused on rigging the system by giving big business and special-interest lobbyists many more opportunities to block or weaken new safeguards that protect the public and hold corporate wrongdoers accountable. Among the reforms that will improve and strengthen our regulatory system, solutions to regulatory capture are at the very top of the list,” he added.