Top jobs in Congress are being filled by former lobbyists who are now in positions to work on legislation dealing with their former employers. Of the approximately 150 former lobbyists working on Capitol Hill, about half have been hired in the past few months, The Washington Post reports
While ethics rules cover lawmakers who move into lobbying and former lobbyists who join the executive branch, there are few or no limits on lobbyists going to work in Congress. The House Energy and Commerce Committee recently hired six lobbyists, four who worked for oil and energy interests at the same time the committee is working on legislation covering those industries, the Post said.
Four former lobbyists work for House Speaker John A. Boehner
, R-Ohio. One, Brett Loper, lobbied last year against Obamacare and is now working to undo the law. A Boehner spokesman said Loper filed a disclosure letter promising to recuse himself from “issues specific to his former employer,” the Post said.
The Center for Responsive Politics’ Sheila Krumholz said, “The bottom line is that many of the most powerful congressional staffers, who are now responsible for working on behalf of the public’s interest, used to make a living convincing the government to benefit a client’s special interest,” the Post reported.
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