Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Congress’ Revolving Door, Part II

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 30, 2018

TheHill.com is reporting that, once again, outgoing Congress critters are migrating to their Corporate Masters on K Street… the well-worn thoroughfare for lobbyists, and “think tanks” who seek to influence Members of Congress decisions for the benefit of their Corporate Masters, not for for the benefit of “We the People.”

That is not a new phenomenon, has occurred, and continues occurring in the Democratic, just as well as in the Republican camp.

“Former Rep. Vic Fazio (D-Calif.), a senior advisor at Akin Gump; former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), senior counsel at Arnold & Porter; as well as former Sens. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and John Breaux (D-La.), now senior counsels at Squire Patton Boggs, are regularly seen working the halls of Congress.”

“Dozens of outgoing lawmakers are looking to make the jump to K Street after an election that saw a massive number of GOP retirements and a Democratic wave flip control of the House.”

Jack Maskell, a Legislative Attorney with the Congressional Research Service, authored a paper dated January 7, 2014 entitled “Post-Employment, “Post-Employment, “Revolving Door,” Laws for Federal Personnel,” which gave a brief overview of the practice.

At the very core, it is unethical for governmental employees – most particularly Members of Congress – to enter into employment with entities that seek to influence government decisions, because it is a violation of due process, being that people are denied their right to due process in the decision-making.

The Squire Patton Boggs lobbying firm is among the largest in size, and scope, and shortly after its founding by former Senators Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) and John Breaux (D-LA), purchased the lobbying firm they founded as the “Breaux–Lott Leadership Group.” The two men now head up the lobbying arm of Squire Patton Boggs.

“Lawmakers have long been coveted by lobby firms and business and trade groups for their connections and insider experience. But with a large turnover following the 115th Congress, the competition for prime spots could be fierce.

“The jockeying has already begun with associations and firms sizing up retiring lawmakers for their accomplishments in Congress and their willingness to work hard and fit in on a new team.

“Some prominent names being eyed include outgoing Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, who lost in his primary to progressive rising star Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York.

“Illinois Republican Bill Shuster, former chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is also on that list.”

On September 17, 2018, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse (R), authored and introduced S.3454 – Congressional Revolving Door Ban Act, which would prohibit Members of Congress from lobbying after leaving Congress. It was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, where it has languished. He is the bill’s solitary sponsor, which should speak volumes about the Democratic Senators, as much as it does the Republicans.

There is a companion bill in the House, sponsored by Bill Posey (R-8), which was H.R.384 – End the Congressional Revolving Door Act, which was introduced January 9, 2017, referred to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. It has one co-sponsor, who is Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D, OH-9) who signed on 09/05/2017.

We’ll see what happens after January 3, 2019, when the new Members of the 116th Congress are sworn in – House, and Senate.

Because “Corporations are [NOT] people, my friend.”

The website OpenSecrets.org states that of the 61 retiring members of the 114th Congress, 26 have found new employment (42%), 18 of which have entered the lobbying business (69%).

Stay tuned.


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