Revolving door
The revolving door in politics refers to the movement of personnel from the private sector to the public sector and vice versa. Corporations often hire former government legislators, regulators and employees to lobby government officials, influence legislation and regulation, and secure government contracts. Government agencies often hire industry employees for their private sector experience and influence in that industry, and for political favors including donations and endorsements. Critics claim these relationships often lead to conflicts of interest which result in regulatory capture -where a government agency acts in a way that benefits a corporation or industry rather than the public it is charged to protect. Federal ethics rules prohibit former Senators from lobbying for 2 years after leaving office, and for one year after a Member of the House leaves office. However, recent studies have shown that due to loopholes in this rule, more than 1,600 congressional aides have registered as lobbyists within a year of leaving Capitol Hill. Other studies have shown that government employees accounted for 44% of all registered, active lobbyists in 2012, up from 18% in 1998. Critics claim this revolving door has resulted in lax enforcement of financial institutions by the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as inappropriate lobbying activities by former members of Congress. They say departing government employees should wait a longer period of time before being allowed to contact members of Congress, and that those employed by industry should likewise wait a longer period of time before being allowed to work for a government entity which oversees or regulates industry.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.318 - Stop the Revolving Door in Washington Act
H.R.319 - End the Congressional Revolving Door Act

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May 21, 2020
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May 27, 2020

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