Schneider Introduces Legislation to Close Revolving Door Loopholes in Trump Administration Ethics Guidelines

September 7, 2018
Press Release
Bill would restore previous administration rules requiring two-year “cooling-off” period and prohibiting former lobbyists from working at the agencies they lobbied

Today, Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) introduced new legislation strengthening ethics rules to help close the revolving door between corporate lobbyists and the agencies that oversee their industries.

H.R. 6732, the Ethics in Public Service Act, would reverse changes in the Trump Administration Ethics Pledge that now allow former appointees to communicate with the agency where they worked, and that permit former lobbyists to join an executive agency that they lobbied within the previous two years. Schneider’s Ethics in Public Service Act would prohibit both of these practices by reverting to the previous standards of the Obama-era Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees.

“President Trump campaigned to ‘drain the swamp,’ but his Administration has only accelerated the revolving door between the executive branch and industry lobbyists,” said Schneider. “The Ethics in Public Service Act is a commonsense step to restore the rules surrounding executive appointee lobbying to the higher standards of the previous Administration. Our democracy will function more effectively and the American people will be better served by a stronger firewall between public service and corporate lobbying.”

In May 2018, ProPublica reported that despite agreeing to lobbying bans, “at least six former [Trump] administration officials are registered lobbyists and others are doing similar work without registering.”

The legislation is endorsed by Common Cause, a non-profit, grassroots organization committed to advancing honest, open and accountable government, as well as encouraging citizen participation in democracy.

“Americans are rightfully concerned with government officials improperly trading on public service for personal gain and spinning through the revolving door on behalf of wealthy special interests, said Stephen Spaulding, Chief of Strategy for Common Cause. “Americans want to bring balance back to Washington, and they deserve high ethical standards in government. Rep. Schneider’s bill would be a very important step forward in cleaning up the system in Washington to put people – not wealthy lobbyists – first, irrespective of presidential administrations. We applaud him for introducing it.”

The full legislation text is available online.