Tester Introduces Bill to Drain the Swamp

Senator Jon Tester has introduced legislation to slam the revolving door between lobbyists and Capitol Hill shut, carrying through on President Trump’s plan to drain the swamp.

Tester’s bill, the Cleaning up Washington’s Act, will create a five-year ban on lobbying for former members of Congress and hundreds of Executive Branch officials.

“Draining the swamp in Washington is one of the issues where the President and I agree,” Tester said.  “This legislation will hold public servants accountable and ensure folks in Congress and in the Administration are thinking about what’s best for our country—not what’s best for their wallets.”

Tester’s Cleaning up Washington’s Act will hold government more accountable to the American people by removing the excessive influence of special interests and reducing the power of lobbyists in the nation’s Capital.

Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG praised Tester’s legislation.

“The revolving door from government to K Street is spinning out of control and should alarm every American,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen. “Senator Tester’s legislation imposing a five-year ban on former lawmakers lobbying Congress and administration officials lobbying the executive branch goes a long way toward cooling off the monetary value of those insider connections.”

“When special interests have special access to elected officials, it’s everyday Americans who get left behind,” said Andre Delattre, Executive Director of U.S. PIRG. “On issues ranging from public health, our tax system, higher education, and consumer protection, the voice of the public should always be heard the loudest. U.S. PIRG applauds Senator Tester for his leadership in standing up for the voices of voters.”

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. 

In the previous Congress, Tester sponsored 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 also introduced three campaign finance reform bills last month to shine light on dark money in our elections.

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.

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