This Bill Could Slim Down Fat Cats…
The job of a member of Congress is supposed to be simple — to make laws to protect the interests, health and safety of the American people. How Congress members gauge what the people’s “interests” are, is not so simple. This grey area is where the lobbyist comes into his or her own. Sometimes with nothing to lobby for but a good cause and the righteous backing of concerned citizens, other times wearing Armani suits and bearing millions in funding, lobbyists work to directly influence policy.
We all know that the line between lobbyist and legislator can be blurry. When Representatives decide to leave public service for the more financially lucrative profession of lobbyist, many worry that policies can be distorted by special interests. This is called the “revolving door” between lobbyist firms and Capitol Hill.
Congresspeople are tempted with the major raises in salary offered by this “revolving door.” It’s not hard to see why the door keeps spinning.
One House member has been working to temper that incentive system. Congressman Steve Israel, a Democrat from New York, has for the second time introduced a bill that would prevent any former member of Congress who receives a salary of one million dollars or more as a registered lobbyist, from receiving a federal pension. About the legislation, the Revolving Door Pension Prevention Act, Rep. Israel wrote, on his own Congressional website,
[These] are the last people who should be receiving federal pensions. Instead of helping support millionaires, my legislation will ensure that taxpayer funds are spent helping the middle class and working families who need it most.
Israel’s law, if passed, would also stop “millionaire lobbyists” who were once in Congress, from receiving additional Congressional perks and federal payouts, including thrift savings plans and health benefits.
While the Congressman emphasized the money saved, the hope is to slow the movement of the revolving door. A report on the salaries of twelve former lawmakers who became lobbyists revealed a 1,452% increase n their income.
If you do not like the fact that former Congressional members use their connections to push policies and get wealthy from special interests, while still receiving Federal dollars, use Daily Clout’s BillCam (below) to read Representative Israel’s full bill. Then contact your local representatives to support or oppose this bill. Raise awareness about this bill to slow down the lucrative “revolving door” from Congress to private industry and lobbying firms, by sharing this bill, using the Twitter button in the screen below, with your friends and on your social networks.