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U.S. senators seek lifetime ban on ex-Congress members lobbying
May 18, 2017 / 9:22 PM / 4 months ago

U.S. senators seek lifetime ban on ex-Congress members lobbying

FILE PHOTO - U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) smiles after he was ceremonially sworn-in by Vice President Joseph Biden in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington January 6, 2015. REUTERS/Larry Downing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bipartisan bill introduced on Thursday would prohibit members of the U.S. Congress from ever working as lobbyists after they leave the Senate or House of Representatives.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner with Democratic Senators Michael Bennet and Al Franken in introducing the Senate legislation to stop the lucrative “revolving door” practice that has drawn the ire of watchdog groups for decades.

“By banning members of Congress from lobbying when they leave Capitol Hill, we can begin to restore confidence in our national politics,” Gardner said in a statement.

Similar legislation has failed in the past.

Currently, there are only temporary restrictions on former members of Congress becoming lobbyists.

The Center for Responsive Politics has noted that former members often score large-salaried lobbying jobs, sometimes of $1 million or more.

The non-partisan group found that just over 51 percent of former members of the 113th Congress (2013-2014) became lobbyists.

Besides a lifetime ban on lobbying for current members of Congress, the legislation would require former congressional aides to wait six years instead of one year before engaging in lobbying and require better reporting of lobbying activities.

Reporting By Richard Cowan; Editing by Bill Trott

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