After completing the mandatory “cooling off” period, members of the House who retired, resigned or lost re-election in 2014 are now officially able to lobby. According to House ethics rules, senior aides and former members of Congress are prohibited from lobbying their former colleagues for one year after leaving the Hill. Former senators are prohibited for two years after they leave the Hill. According to analysis from The Hill, “Roughly one-third of the former lawmakers in that group have gone on to work for companies, universities, trade associations or firms that lobby the federal government.”
During the “cooling off” period some former lawmakers have “refrained from speaking with former colleagues since leaving office, even about matters that did not pertain to business.” The Hill reports former Rep. Buck McKeon saying he “avoided even seeing them [other Members] because I didn’t even want the appearance” of impropriety.” However, other former members comply with the regulations, but still take an active role in advocacy. For example, former Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) joined his son’s boutique lobby firm, Waxman Strategies, and has been actively working on advocating before the executive branch, which former lawmakers are not restricted from in any way.
In recent years a number of former Members of Congress have gravitated to non-lobbying roles after leaving the Hill. Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has joined the investment bank Moelis & Co. as a vice chairman and managing director and Former Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) returned to Nevada-based public relations firm R&R Resources, where he worked before running for office. However, according to The Hill, “law and lobby shops remain the most common destination for former lawmakers. Former Reps. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah) landed at Squire Patton Boggs, which has a lobby shop led by former Sens. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and John Breaux (D-La.). The Louisiana-based shop the Picard Group hired former Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.), and Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) went to Dilworth Paxon.”