Zach Nunn Introduces Bill to Increase Lobbying Ban for Members of Congress
Rep. Zach Nunn (R-IA), who beat former Rep. Cindy Axne in one of the top congressional races last year, introduced legislation on Monday to increase the “cooling off period” members of Congress have before being able to lobby.
Nunn introduced legislation, Ban Members from Becoming Lobbyists Act, that would, if turned into law, triple the length of the lobbying ban that members of Congress would have to wait out before they are legally able to lobby.
Extending the “cooling off period” would change the wait time between public service and lobbying for House members to three years and six years for senators. Under the current rules, House members only have to wait one year, and senators have to wait two years to become lobbyists after leaving office.
“I’ve put service over self my entire life — first in the Air Force, then at the Iowa Statehouse, and now in Congress,” Nunn explained. “Public service is one of the greatest honors – to be able to be a voice for the folks in Iowa.”
The Hawkeye State congressman explained that the “most popular’ career choice for lawmakers post-Congress, with nearly two-thirds of former Congressional lawmakers, is joining the lobbying industry after leaving office.
“The bottom line is that Members of Congress should not be going to D.C. to enrich themselves,” Nunn added. “A longer ban between public service and lobbying will help ensure that Members are always acting in the best interest of their current employer—their constituents—instead of a potential future employer.”
During the last Congress, Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) introduced legislation that would have created a lifetime ban on members of Congress becoming lobbyists. Golden’s lifetime ban on lobbying would have created hefty penalties, which included up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year.