Lawmakers Introduce Lobbying Reform Bill
It would end the 20 percent threshold for lobbying registrations
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) introduced legislation July 25, 2018 to curb “pay-to-play” politics and strengthen lobbying disclosure laws.
The bill would end the 20 percent threshold for lobbying registrations and would also require consultants who only provide “strategic advice in support of lobbying” to register. The bill would also prevent congressional offices from soliciting campaign contributions from lobbyists when Congress is in session.
“Endless lobbying and fundraising in Washington has created a corruption of inaction,” Bennet said this week. “Instead of addressing the real challenges Americans face, our dysfunctional campaign finance system has prevented Congress from acting on climate change, the deficit and the costs of healthcare.”
In an interview with POLITICO, Sarbanes said he is not trying to vilify the lobbying profession.
“There’s nothing wrong with lobbying,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with bringing views to bear on behalf of an industry.”
He added that the point of scrapping the 20 percent threshold is to “get to this ecosystem of adviser types that roam Capitol Hill” but don’t have to register as a lobbyist.
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