In 1974, roughly 3% of retiring members of Congress became lobbyists. Today, a whopping 42% of congressmen and 50% of senators join the influence industry upon retiring from Congress.
This creates a situation in which many former members never actually leave Washington, which has contributed to the growth of a permanent political class that exists separately and distinctly from the rest of the American people
I have introduced H.R. 796, the Drain the Swamp Act, to toughen current bans on officials lobbying the government after their federal service. Combined with term limits, which I have also introduced, these reforms will incentivize the rise of citizen-legislators who will focus on the national interest rather than on feathering their own nests.
Please read my op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel: Trump wants to drain the swamp – here’s how I’ll do it.
The Drain the Swamp Act will:
- Prohibit all currently covered executive and legislative branch officials and employees from, within five years after the termination of his or her service, knowingly attempting to influence the executive or legislative branches of the government of the United States.
- Broaden the scope of the federal definition of “lobbying” to include “consulting and advising.”
- Require individuals that spend at least 10 percent of their time engaged in lobbying services over a three-month period to any one client to register as a lobbyist and disclose lobbying activities to Congress. Current law sets the threshold at 20 percent.
- Prohibit covered senior executive officials from ever representing, aiding, or advising a foreign entity with the intent to influence the executive or legislative branches of the United States government.
- Broaden the scope of the existing federal ban on foreign nationals contributing money to federal, state, or local elections; political parties; or electioneering communications to include a federal ban on foreign nationals from soliciting money for such contributions.