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  • Writer's pictureNILE

Statement Opposing Sen. Warren & Rep. Kim’s Efforts to Ban Lobbying

The House and Senate are set to finish drafting their versions of an FY’24 Defense Authorization bill this week. Comments reported in Roll Call on Friday, June 15 regarding efforts by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) are just another effort to restrict who can and cannot register to become lobbyists today.

According to Roll Call, Sen. Warren and Rep. Kim are set to try and include language which would extend the cooling-off period for former Defense Department officials to work for military contractors. It would also restrict lobbying by retired senior military and flag officers for foreign governments.

The National Institute For Lobbying & Ethics (NILE) opposes attempts by those in Congress to prevent anyone from serving as a registered lobbyist. It is the only profession where Congress routinely attempts to prevent people from performing functions protected by the U.S. Constitution. If it’s legally done, it’s not the role of Congress to tell people who they can and cannot represent.

NILE supports ethics reform and ensuring our system has safeguards against corruption. This, however, is an attempt to prevent people from exercising their constitutional right to petition their government. The Constitution does not just limit a person from doing that for themselves but allows registered lobbyists to serve as the voice for millions of Americans unable to be in Washington advocating for issues important to them.

Registered lobbyists continue to be the focus of attention of some in Congress. Instead of focusing on issues that could be deemed unconstitutional, work with the profession on real reform efforts. Let us not spend time demonizing good people for our own political gain. Actions like these undermine our democracy and Constitution.

Let us work together on real ethics reform that will make an immediate difference for the American people and our system of government.


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