The Closing the Congressional Revolving Door Act would prevent former members of Congress from lobbying current members of Congress.
By Dan Shalin, Burnsville Patch – May 16, 2022
WASHINGTON D.C. —Rep Angie Craig (D-Burnsville) on Friday introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would ban former members of Congress from lobbying current members of Congress.
The Closing the Congressional Revolving Door Act also would make it illegal for former members of Congress to visit various Congressional facilities where current members of Congress gather.
The legislation, according to Craig’s office, is in line with the Minnesota Congresswoman’s commitment to addressing even the appearance of corruption and impropriety in Washington.
Craig said there currently are few restrictions preventing elected officials from lobbying their former colleagues on behalf of corporate clients or special interest groups.
The proposed legislation would make doing so illegal.
It also would remove special privileges granted to former members of Congress that Craig said are often exploited by those who become lobbyists after their time in elected office.
According to the legislation, former members of Congress no longer would have access to the House chamber, Congressional athletic facilities, the members’ dining room and other private locations on Capitol Hill.
“For far too long, career politicians have treated the United States Capitol like a revolving door of interest, using their positions for career advancement and personal profit,” Craig said. “The American people deserve to know that their elected representatives are focused on fighting for their communities in Congress — not working to line up a high-paying lobbying gig after their public service comes to an end.
“I’m proud to introduce this long-overdue reform to jam the revolving door between lobbyists and lawmakers and restore some faith in Washington.”
Previously, Craig introduced the Halt Unchecked Member Benefits with Lobbying Elimination (HUMBLE) Act, which would ban members of Congress from individual stock ownership and prevent these elected officials from using taxpayer money for first-class air travel.
In 2019, Craig introduced an amendment to the annual spending bill to block House Democrats from enacting a pay raise for members of Congress.
For her anti-corruption initiatives, in addition to her work to expand voting rights in Washington, Craig recently earned an A grade from the End Citizens United//Let America Vote Action Fund, which also has endorsed Craig’s proposed Closing the Congressional Revolving Door Act
“For too long, public officials have used government service as a stepping stone to financial gain. Rep. Craig’s Closing the Congressional Revolving Door Act would take this corruption head on,” said Tiffany Muller, the president of the End Citizens United // Let America Vote Action Fund.
Muller continued: “We’re proud to support this bill and applaud Rep. Craig’s leadership in working to restore the public’s faith in their elected officials.”