Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday released a sweeping plan for government ethics reform that his campaign says would vastly decrease Washington cronyism.
The Trump campaign’s five-point plan discusses a number of ways to end the revolving door between federal elected office and K Street by closing lobbying loopholes and takes some obvious swipes at the system-gaming the Clinton family has done over the years.
Chief among Trump’s proposals is the reinstatement of a five-year lobbying ban for executive branch officials, which he will ask Congress to pass into law so it can’t be undone by a future president. A similar ban was enacted during President Bill Clinton’s transition to office in 1992, though it lacked legislative protection. President Barack Obama also campaigned heavily on closing the revolving door in Washington ahead of his first term but, as evidenced by Obamacare, the door is still spinning wildly.
In addition to barring executive officials from lobbying after leaving an administration, Trump is calling on members of Congress to institute its own five-year ban on lobbying for legislators and their staff.
Despite enjoying majority support among the voting public, convincing Congress to follow through on a self-imposed ban would likely be an uphill battle for a Trump administration. After all, congressmen who take lobbying jobs after leaving office receive an average pay bump of about 1,452 percent.
Trump’s campaign also says it will close loopholes that allow former government officials to label themselves as “consultants” and “advisors” rather than lobbyists when taking big business positions right out of office.
In what is perhaps a nod to some of the Clinton family’s ties to foreign entities via foundation efforts, Trump is also pushing to clarify rules dictating when it is appropriate for former top-ranking officials to lobby the federal government on behalf of foreign entities.
Americans have long decried the influence of lobbyists in Washington politics— and for those who may be single-issue voters on the matter, Trump’s promises are substantial. It’s also worth noting that his opponent isn’t in a position to sincerely decry the efforts of big money lobbyists.
A recent Wall Street Journal report revealed that Clinton has raised more than $30 million in campaign funds from American lawyers and lobbyists. Trump, who’s spent a great deal of time on the campaign trail railing against lobbyists and special interests raised a measly $830,000 from the same groups.