October 19, 2016

Presidential Candidate Proposes Lobbying Reforms

Holland & Knight Eyes on Washington Blog
Christopher DeLacy

On October 17, 2016, the Trump Campaign proposed several ethics, lobbying and campaign finance reforms:

  • Enhanced Post-Employment Restrictions – Impose a 5-year cooling off period for former executive and legislative branch officials before they may become a lobbyist and a lifetime ban on senior executive branch officials lobbying for a foreign government. 
  • Lowering the 20% Lobbyist Threshold – Expand the Lobbying Disclosure Act definition of a lobbyist to include those who spend less than 20% of their time on lobbying activities.  Sometimes these individuals are referred to as "stealth lobbyists."
  • Banning Campaign Contributions from Foreign Agents – Individuals registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act would be banned from raising (and presumably contributing) money in connection U.S. elections. Foreign Nationals are already prohibited from contributing in connection with U.S. elections. 

It is unclear whether the Clinton Campaign will propose similar reforms, although lobbyists have reportedly been banned from the Clinton transition team. During the 2008 Presidential Campaign and the first two years of his Presidency, President Obama made ethics reform a priority. The last major ethics reform passed by Congress was the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007

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