Less than a month after leaving office, at least five former House members and one U.S. senator are already on the payroll at firms that make millions lobbying their congressional colleagues. The findings, provided to Vocativ by the Center for Responsive Politics, a government watchdog group, also show that a second senator who left office at the beginning of January, Alaska’s Mark Begich, took the extra step of starting his own public affairs consulting firm, which has already secured clients in health care and aviation.
While Washington’s contentious revolving door spins in perpetuum—allowing a stream of money, influence and access to flow seamlessly between the private and public sectors—the speed with which these public servants have offered themselves up to big business may raise a few eyebrows . . .
By law, ex-House members are required to wait one year before they can officially lobby lawmakers on the Hill, while former senators must wait twice as long. Many, however, are able to work around those requirements at firms by signing on as consultants, counsel and strategic advisors, as a recent analysis by CRP and the Sunlight Foundation shows. That study’s conclusion: “The many loopholes limiting who can lobby whom in Washington and whether that lobbying must be disclosed to the public make a hunk of Swiss cheese look like the Berlin Wall.” (Read more about the congressmen who joined lobbying firms HERE)