Yesterday, USA Today reported that 16 of the 62 lawmakers who left Congress last year took jobs with lobbying firms.
In recent years, the so-called “revolving door” has received attention from watchdog groups and Congress itself. However, Public Citizen says the fact that these lawmakers are able to move into these jobs reflect “an utterly failed revolving-door restriction.”
Under current rules, former House members are barred from lobbying their former colleagues for a year after leaving office, while Senators must wait two years. However, nothing stops them from working for lobbying firms to advise clients on the Congressional process or how to obtain contacts with the administration. Similarly, they can work as state lobbyists. Public Citizen says, “They can’t call or visit a congressional office for a lobbying purpose but can do all the work on a lobbying campaign.”
According to Public Citizen, between 1998 and 2004, 43% of former lawmakers became lobbyists.