Tester Leads Charge to “Drain the Swamp” in Washington
Senator Announces Bill to Enforce Trump’s Five-Year Lobbyist Ban
(U.S. Senate)-Senator Jon Tester today announced that he will be introducing legislation in January to “Drain the Swamp” and ban former members of Congress and certain members of the Executive Branch from lobbying for five years upon leaving civil service.
“The first step to draining the swamp is to rid Washington of the special interests that use their time in public service to line their own pockets,” Tester said. “I am working with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to bring more accountability and transparency to the federal government, and I expect the Trump Administration to live up to its commitment to clean up Washington.”
Tester’s bill, the Cleaning Up Washington’s Act, was identified by President-elect Donald Trump as a top priority during his first 100-day legislative agenda.
Tester’s Cleaning up Washington’s Act will hold government more accountable to the American people by removing the undue influence of special interests and reducing the power of lobbyists in the Nation’s Capital.
Tester’s bill will specifically ban all members of Congress, the President’s Cabinet, and executive branch officials who are paid on the Executive Schedule from lobbying for five years after they leave public service. The Executive Schedule consists of over 600 executive branch officials from federal agencies, boards, and commissions.
“We are pleased to support Senator Tester’s effort to stop the revolving door in Washington, D.C.,” said Fred Wertheimer, Founder & President of Democracy 21. “What Tester’s bill will lengthen the period of time in which government officials cannot come back to lobby. We hope this bill gets serious treatment.”
“President-elect Trump was elected to office on a wave of populist campaign rhetoric about fixing business as usual in Washington and promises to drain the swamp. Senator Tester’s bill realizes one of those promises and should be an easy one to sign if Trump is willing to honor his commitments,” Lisa Gilbert, Director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, there are 41 former members of the 113th Congress who are actively lobbying the Senate and House of Representatives.
Tester is already sponsoring the Close the Revolving Door Act, which bans former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists, while also increasing the period of time staffers are prohibited from registering as lobbyists after leaving Congress.
Tester’s push to bring more transparency and accountability to government includes the STOCK Act, which prohibits members of Congress or their staff from using knowledge gained through their Congressional work for personal financial gain.
Tester has also fought hard to require Senate candidates to post their quarterly campaign finance reports online, and publically make available all executive branch records in a free, easy-to-use database.
In an effort to hold himself accountable, Tester was the first member of Congress and is still the only member of Montana’s Congressional Delegation to post his daily public schedule on his website.