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house Bill H.R. 484

Drain the Swamp: Should Political Appointees be Banned From Lobbying After Leaving Gov’t?

Argument in favor

Political appointees shouldn’t be able to lobby the federal government for at least five years after leaving the executive branch, and should never be able to lobby on behalf of a foreign government.

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02/18/2017
A faint and almost unnoticeable silver lining on this mushroom cloud of a presidency. However, it exempts congress, which is the real nest of vipers. It's toothless.
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Chloe's Opinion
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02/18/2017
Lobbying is one of the major hurdles of a fair government - this is a great step to elimination.
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Betty's Opinion
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02/18/2017
Personally, I think lobbying should be illegal.
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Argument opposed

If the federal government is serious about attracting and retaining high caliber political appointees they should lessen restrictions on the post-government careers of those appointees, not make it harder to be a lobbyist.

Judy's Opinion
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02/18/2017
Why is this limited to executive branch? Seems like a trick. Let's get rid of ALL lobbyists. With apps like this and holding town halls, our reps can find out what their constituents want and listen to them rather than lobbyists.
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Jennie 's Opinion
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02/19/2017
I'd agree to a bill like this if it also applied to Congress because that's where the problem with lobbyists is greatest. And also give it a serious name, not the asinine name made up by #45.
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Chase 's Opinion
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02/18/2017
I wanted to vote yea - but clicked the other to see who voted nay - still figuring out this website- forgive me
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 12th, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 484?

This bill — known as the DRAIN the SWAMP Act — would prohibit former executive branch political appointees from lobbying for five years after leaving the federal government and ban them from lobbying for foreign nations for life.

Federal agencies would be able to request hardship waivers for certain positions that are filled by political appointments, which would only be granted if the Office of Government Ethics finds that it’d make it difficult to get qualified personnel to take jobs or wouldn’t create the potential for undue influence.

Under current law, appointees are banned from lobbying for two years after leaving the executive branch which is punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and/or one year in prison.

The full title for the DRAIN the SWAMP Act is the “Deter-Revolving-door Appointments in our Nation; Stop Washington Appointees from becoming Manipulative Petitioners Act.”

Impact

Political appointees who leave the executive branch.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 484

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced this bill to ban political appointees from lobbying and allow a campaign promise that President Donald Trump wants to fulfill on day one of his presidency to become law. Before the conclusion of the 114th Congress during a speech on the House floor, DeFazio asked for Trump to endorse his bill before it is reintroduced in the next Congress, adding:

“My bill would make violations of President-Elect Trump’s recently announced revolving door lobbying ban punishable by law… Unfortunately, his proposal lacks any enforcement mechanism. I want this to be more than a press release, I want to help him in this effort… I would extend the existing penalties which apply to very few people over a shorter period of time, the penalties of up to $50,000 and one-year in jail, to cover all of the 3,648 executive branch political appointees.”

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Glyn Lowe Photoworks)

AKA

Deter Revolving-door Appointments In our Nation; Stop Washington Appointees from becoming Manipulative Petitioners Act

Official Title

To amend the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 and the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 to restrict the lobbying activities of former political appointees, and for other purposes.

    A faint and almost unnoticeable silver lining on this mushroom cloud of a presidency. However, it exempts congress, which is the real nest of vipers. It's toothless.
    Like (328)
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    Why is this limited to executive branch? Seems like a trick. Let's get rid of ALL lobbyists. With apps like this and holding town halls, our reps can find out what their constituents want and listen to them rather than lobbyists.
    Like (454)
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    So, what should be done about billionaires being appointed to government positions where they can act on behalf of their business interests rather than the American people? These people have zero experience in public service, but manage to buy their way in.
    Like (858)
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    Should be extended to all branches.
    Like (148)
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    Lobbying is one of the major hurdles of a fair government - this is a great step to elimination.
    Like (125)
    Follow
    Share
    Personally, I think lobbying should be illegal.
    Like (106)
    Follow
    Share
    I'd agree to a bill like this if it also applied to Congress because that's where the problem with lobbyists is greatest. And also give it a serious name, not the asinine name made up by #45.
    Like (70)
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    This is a start but it certainly will not drain the entire DC swamp!
    Like (68)
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    Common sense bill that can reduce the number of conflicts of interest in Washington.
    Like (51)
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    Yes! Remove incentives for corruption
    Like (44)
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    I wanted to vote yea - but clicked the other to see who voted nay - still figuring out this website- forgive me
    Like (37)
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    This is good so as to prevent people who seek only personal gain from buying influence in the administration. How do you think Betsy DeVos got where she is today? Money and money alone.
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    Money in politics is one of the primary sources of corruption of values. The lobbies have gone too far as it is to their, in many cases corporate interest above those of the American people. While corporations are made up of people they themselves are not people. They have separate driving factors from an individual as well they are not singularly liable as a person is. These corporations cannot be allowed to continue to hijack our politicians and pollute Washington with greed and personal gain. We the people in trust our representatives with too much for them to be so easily corruptible. With the power we invest in them politicians need to be held to a higher standard. They are accountable to us. Let's hold them to account. No more money in politics. No more corporatocracy this is a democracy. It is long overdue we take this country back from the extraction industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the military industrial complex, Banks and mega agricultural monopolies. This is a planet in a declination spiral and now more than ever time is of the essence for our representatives to put aside the profit motives and do what is right for future generations. Our great grand children depend on our voices being heard today. Resist this administrations war on regulation and this starts with ousting corporate influence from Washington. Resist the Gorsuch nomination this will have the longest term effect on policy that this administration is handing to corporations. It's time to act now!
    Like (34)
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    Lobbyists should not be allowed at all. This pay for play needs to stop!!! It has placed our elected officials in a position of right versus $$$$$$$$. And they all choose $$$ democrats and republicans alike.
    Like (29)
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    Influence peddling is one of the reasons we're in this mess.
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    This appears to be addressing the back end but misses the front end. Is there any way to add that current campaign contributors are not eligible for 4 years for political appointments?
    Like (22)
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    There shouldn't be a 5 year ban - it should be LIFETIME!
    Like (19)
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    This isn't about partisan politics, this is about having a functioning government that serves the people.
    Like (19)
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    Yes Political Appointees should be banned from lobbying and they are under current law and have been for years—this is not a new idea — however the requirement is so frequently wavered or ignored it has little impact. Yes enact a stronger law and assure enforcement of the law.
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    I don't like Trump, but yes, government officials should not lobby, especially for foreign countries.
    Like (17)
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