It was no tip that Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, who mislaid in his Jun GOP primary, spent a summer job-hunting. But it came as a warn when a CEO of a Wall Street investment bank announced this week that he had hired a former House infancy personality as handling executive — for at slightest $3 million in money and stock over a subsequent year and a half.
Wasn’t Cantor ostensible to divulge a pursuit negotiations to a House Ethics Committee? And wasn’t that ostensible to be done public? Isn’t there a law about that?
The answers: Yes. No. And we usually suspicion so.
Negotiations for post-Congress work was a pivotal underline in a Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007. Congress was broke by a Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, that sent one congressman to prison. Only somewhat reduction ungainly were a departures of some lawmakers and comparison staffers to work for industries they had only been regulating.
The primary instance was former Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La. As authority of a Energy and Commerce Committee, he oversaw a essay of a Medicare prescription-drug benefit. A tiny later, he quiescent and went to work for PhRMA, a lobbying organisation for prescription-drug producers.
The resolution that Congress came adult with: need lawmakers and high-level staffers to publicly divulge when they start negotiating with a impending employer. Not when a understanding is sealed, though when a critical articulate begins. If there are conflicts with ongoing legislation, recusals would be required.
This wasn’t a new idea. Republicans had authorized it in 2006, when they tranquil a House. In 2007, with Democrats in charge, a proponents were Sens. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Barack Obama of Illinois, and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, then-chairman of a House Judiciary Committee.
But when Conyers’ cabinet began operative on a provision, a tiny change was made. The strange breeze would have had job-seeking lawmakers news their negotiations to a clerk of a House. The Judiciary Committee altered it but explanation. Those eager-to-leave lawmakers would news to a House Ethics Committee instead. (The row was afterwards famous as a House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.)
House Ethics has historically resisted disclosure. Here, it motionless that when a lawmaker discloses to a committee, that’s avowal enough. Besides, a law doesn’t contend “public disclosure,” and conjunction did many House members or remodel advocates as they discussed it. By comparison, a House clerk is a indication of transparency, obliged for publicly disclosing, among other things, transport by House members, bureau budgets and lobbyists’ activity.
The watchdog organisation Public Citizen calculates that given a law took effect, 212 House members have mislaid or retired. Just 3 of them reported negotiating for post-Congress practice — all in a initial year after enactment.
As for Cantor, he quiescent his House chair dual weeks ago, dual months after his warn primary detriment — and some-more than a month after published reports contend he began articulate with his new employer, Moelis Co. Which means a avowal law appears to have misfired again.
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