August 6, 2015 •
New U.S. Senate Bill Closes Revolving Door & Requires More Lobbyist Disclosure
A new bill entered in the U.S. Senate would permanently ban members of both houses of Congress from ever becoming lobbyists. The legislation was introduced on August 5 by Sens. Michael Bennet and Al Franken.
The Senate bill, entitled the Close the Revolving Door Act of 2015, additionally increases certain lobbying bans for senior Senate and House staff members from one year to six years after leaving the job. Another change the bill would implement is requiring lobbying firms to disclose paid consultant services by any employee who is a former senator or representative and certain former congressional staffers who made at least $100,000 in any one year, worked for four or more years as a staff member, or held a senior staff position in Congress. The bill also increases the maximum penalty for violating the Lobbying Disclosure Act, bans lobbyists from joining congressional staffs or committee staffs that they lobbied for six years, and creates a website to provide searchable disclosures on lobbying activities.
“The revolving door between Congress and the lobbying industry is a problem that needs fixing, because our democracy can’t function the way it’s supposed to when big interests have more power than the American people,” Franken said in a press release.
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