Golden, Cicilline Introduce Lifetime Lobbying Ban for Former Members of Congress

August 6, 2021
Press Release
Over half of the lawmakers who left office in 2019 cashed in to become lobbyists or take similar influence-peddling roles

WASHINGTON — Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) and Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01) introduced legislation today to ban former members of Congress from ever working as federal lobbyists. Under current law, lawmakers can begin lobbying activities just 1-2 years after leaving office, working to influence the institution in which they once served for corporations and special interest groups. 

“Every few years dozens of lawmakers leave Congress to become lobbyists. This revolving door is one of the ways that special interests wield influence in Washington,” said Congressman Golden. “We have to confront the power of these groups over our political system and end practices like this. Congress shouldn’t be a stepping stone to a fat paycheck to lobby your former colleagues, it should be about service to the country. I’m proud to join Congressman Cicilline to lead this push to ban members of Congress from ever becoming lobbyists.”

“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 Congressman 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.”

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, more than 400 former members of Congress are currently working as lobbyists or “senior advisors” performing very similar work. Of former members who left office in January 2019 and continued work in other positions, more than 50 percentbecame lobbyists or similarly-employed advisors.

This bill reintroduction is the latest step in Congressman Golden’s work to impose a lifetime lobbying ban on former members of Congress. In 2020, Golden cosponsoredthe version of Rep. Cicilline’s lifetime lobbying ban bill for the 116th Congress. And in March 2021, Golden offered similar legislation as an amendment to H.R. 1, theFor the People Act.