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Government Reform: Lobbying and Former Presidents

POST EMPLOYMENT BAN

Now let’s consider some new proposed Congressional bill related to lobbying.

Because former Members of Congress and Executive Branch officials (such as those in the Department of Defense or the US Treasury) are very familiar with how government works and have strong personal connections throughout government, they can often work as lobbyists after they leave office. Currently, there are some limits on how soon a former government official can lobby the government after leaving office.

A set of proposed bills in Congress extends the period former Members of Congress and Executive Branch officials must wait after they leave office before they can work as lobbyists.

Under current law, before they can lobby Congress:

• former House members must wait one year
• former Senators must wait two years
• senior Congressional staffers in both houses must wait one year

In addition, senior Executive Branch officials are prohibited from lobbying the agency they were part of for 1-2 years, depending on how senior they were.