Congressman Dave Loebsack today joined Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01) to reintroduce their proposal to ban former Members of Congress from ever working as registered federal lobbyists. The lawmakers have joined together each Congress for the past eight years to introduce this legislation. Additionally, Loebsack today thanked Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) for introducing legislation aimed at cleaning up Washington, which includes a ban on Members becoming lobbyists.
“In order to truly reform Washington, and restore the public’s faith in government, we have to stop the revolving door between Congress and K Street. Members of Congress should be working hard on behalf of the people they represent and not be auditioning for a high-paying lobbyist job,” said Loebsack. “For the past 8 years I have proudly joined with Rep. Cicilline to introduce legislation to permanently ban Members of Congress from cashing in on their elected responsibilities and ever becoming lobbyists. I came to Washington for one reason - to serve the people of Iowa. Sadly, far too often people come to just cash in. For the good of our country, that must come to an end.”
“Washington is broken. People have lost faith that the federal government is working on their behalf and instead is advancing the interests of powerful corporate special interests. This problem is made worse by the revolving door between Congress and big lobbying firms,” said Cicilline. “This legislation will help restore the public's confidence that government is serving their interests by permanently banning former Members of Congress from engaging in lobbying. It's simple, if you have the privilege of serving in Congress, when your service is concluded you can’t leave to go lobby for some special interest. If we are serious about fixing what’s wrong in Washington, then we need to pass this bill.”
“Congressman Loebsack has long been a leader on the issue of ending the revolving door in Washington. I look forward to working with him to clean up Congress so Washington can work for Iowans, not special interests,” said Axne.
Loebsack continued, “The recent media attention regarding former members who have gone on to work as lobbyists has highlighted the need for this critical reform legislation. I am pleased my fellow Iowan, Rep. Axne, is also taking action on this effort as part of her Clean Up Congress Act. I strongly support her legislation to clean up Washington, which also includes preventing member pay increases and banning members from flying first class on the taxpayer dime.”
According to one estimate, fewer than 150 lobbyists worked in Washington, D.C. in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Today, there are more than 11,000 registered federal lobbyists, including 430 former Members of Congress. More than $3 billion is spent each year on federal lobbying. This explosion in the influence of lobbyists working for special interests has coincided with a total breakdown in Congress’s ability to deliver results for the American people.
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