Members of Congress See Value in Lobbying Expertise

A new study by Legistorm reports that 605 current congressional staff have been lobbyists in the last 10 years.  The study goes on to say that this number adds to the list of over 5,400 former lobbyists who have gone on to serve as congressional staff members in the last decade.  In 2011, 155 former lobbyists have returned to Capitol Hill as staffers, which “puts this year on pace to be second only to 2007 [which saw 206 lobbyists employed by Congress], when Democrats won not only the House but the Senate too,” in terms of number of lobbyists working as staff.  Of those lobbyists taking Hill jobs after last year’s wave election, an 8:1 majority were Republicans enjoying their party’s switch to power.

Additionally, 393 current and former members of Congress in the last decade were lobbyists or foreign agents, and 388 congressional aides have made the trip through the revolving door from Capitol Hill to lobbying for the first time this year,” leveraging their Hill expertise for other professional endeavors.

This report finds more lobbyists and staffers have used the revolving door than was found in previous studies, underscoring the fact that Congress and K Streeters alike agree that the expertise and contacts one can attain on either side of the revolving door are invaluable, as each side works with the other Buy Viagra to further the national agenda.

The rules on revolving door employment are as follows:

  • House Members and very senior staff (those paid 75% of the Member salary for any 60 day period during the previous 12 months) cannot negotiate post-congressional employment unless they disclose the communications.  However, there is a distinction made in the House ethics guidance between “negotiations” and “preliminary or exploratory discussions.”
  • A former House Member, Elected Officer of the House, Very senior staffer — either in personal, committee, leadership, or other legislative office– may not lobby any member or employee of Congress on any business for one year after leaving the Hill.  Assisting any foreign government official in contacting a U.S. government official is also not permitted.  There are no prohibitions for non-senior staff.
  • Senators may not engage in discussions or negotiations for post-Senate employment as a lobbyist until after their successor has been elected, and are subject to a two year (versus one year) prohibition on lobbying the entire Congress (including Members, officers or employees of Congress).
  • Very senior Senate staff (those paid 75% of a Member’s salary), elected officers, and non-senior staff are prohibited from lobbying any Member, officer, or Senate employee for one year.  They are also prohibited from assisting any foreign professional.
  • Recusal is expected in legislative matters that might present a conflict of interest with prospective employers.

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