Saturday, September 24, 2022

Play

The health-care subsidy extension a relief for small businesses; Consumer groups press for a bill to reform credit reporting; and an international group aims to transform how people view peace and conflict.

Play

Condemnation of Russian war on Ukraine continues at the U.N, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there's need for worker training to rebuild Puerto Rico, the House takes on record corporate profits while consumers struggle with inflation.

Play

The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

Report: ND Lobbying Law Could Be Model for Congress

Play

Wednesday, July 24, 2019   

BISMARCK, N.D. - When members of Congress leave office, an industry lobbying role often is in their future. A new report says states such as North Dakota could provide a model to help the federal government slow this revolving door.

The consumer watchdog group Public Citizen applauded North Dakota and two other states for their strong restrictions on lobbying after lawmakers leave office. Report co-author Craig Holman, Public Citizen's government-affairs lobbyist, said the ethics measure passed by voters in November prohibits former officials from influencing public policy during a two-year "cooling off" period.

"And it not only has a longer cooling-off period," he said, "it also just prohibits - during that two-year cooling-off period - former elected officials from doing any kind of lobbying activity."

Holman said this kind of reform would close a loophole that allows former lawmakers to become lobbyists so long as they avoid directly lobbying to people in office. This year, Public Citizen found nearly two-thirds of former members of Congress have gone on to work for groups that seek to influence federal policies, including lobbying firms, consulting firms, trade groups and business groups.

Holman called the pipeline of former lawmakers into lobbying jobs "one of the most pernicious influence-peddling schemes available to wealthy special interests," adding that a lucrative job after leaving office has the potential to corrupt politicians.

"If he or she curries favor with that special employer, special interest," he said, "it's hard to make sure that the officeholder is acting on behalf of the public interest, rather than his or her own interest."

While the U.S. Senate has a two-year cooling-off period for for lobbying activities, it remains only one year for the House. Holman said the minimum should be at least two years, because that's the length of a legislative session and it takes at least that long for old staff contacts to turn over. Florida lawmakers recently passed a six-year cooling-off period - the longest to date.

The report is online at citizen.org.


get more stories like this via email

Nonprofit organizations employed nearly 30,000 Montanans in 2019. (Artur/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The work of some nonprofit organizations has only increased with the pandemic and the needs that have come from it. An author and expert in the field …


Social Issues

By Lourdes Medrano for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Arizona News Connection, reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …

Social Issues

Hispanic Heritage Month began in mid-September and runs through Oct. 15, and a financial institution in Washington state is finding unique ways to …


Fans of solitude say the route density in Labyrinth Canyon can make it difficult to escape the noise of motorized vehicles. (Bureau of Land Management)

Environment

Conservation groups say more needs to be done to protect the natural and cultural resources of Utah's Labyrinth Canyon from off-road vehicles…

Social Issues

Despite being aimed at children in kindergarten through third grade, Florida teachers say what's often referred to as the "Don't Say Gay" law has …

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., says she plans to call a legislative hearing on the practices of credit reporting agencies. (Kalafoto/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Consumer groups are pressing for legislation to reform the way credit agencies handle errors on credit reports. The calls to amend the Fair Credit …

Environment

A relatively small number of so-called "super emitters" are responsible for 40% of the methane emissions in oil and gas hotspots such as California's …

Social Issues

As "Banned Books Week" comes to a close, Connecticut libraries have been celebrating with great fervor - despite numerous book bans and challenges…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021