House Passes Rep. Susan Wild Led Bill to End Lobbyist Loophole, Strengthen Government Transparency
WASHINGTON – Today, the House passed U.S. Representative Susan Wild’s (PA-07) Lobbyist Loophole Closure Act, critical legislation to ensure that well-connected individuals cannot exploit loopholes in federal ethics laws by being hired as “consultants” in order to avoid registering as a lobbyist, as a key component of the historic government reforms package, H.R.1, the For the People Act of 2021.
The most comprehensive set of reforms in a generation, the For the People Act of 2021 strengthens American democracy and puts the needs and priorities of the American people ahead of special interests by making it easier to vote, reducing the influence of big money in politics, and strengthening ethics laws across all three branches of government.
“For too long, well-connected special interests have been able to play by their own set of rules, exploiting our democratic institutions for their own financial gain,” Wild said. “If we’re going to make progress on any of the issues our constituents sent us to Washington to tackle, we must change this system which rewards monied interests at the expense of the American people. It’s time that a Pennsylvanian struggling to fill their insulin prescription has the same sway as a prescription drug company. The American people deserve a government that is more transparent and accountable, and I’m thrilled to see my bill pass at a key part of these long-overdue reforms.”
Specifically, Wild’s legislation, H.R. 1530, expands the scope of who must register as a lobbyist by requiring individuals who provide paid strategic advice in support of a lobbying contact with a government official to register as lobbyists, even if they do not make direct contact. Current law provides for a massive loophole wherein individuals can provide indirect consultations without registering with the government, thereby skirting the rules of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995.
Key provisions of H.R.1 would:
- Make it easier, not harder, to vote by expanding automatic and same day voter registration, strengthening early voting and vote by mail, combatting voter intimidation and suppression, and ensuring the integrity of our elections by modernizing and strengthening our voting systems and ending partisan gerrymandering.
- Empower citizens by reducing the influence of dark money by requiring all political organizations to disclose large donors, promoting digital ad transparency, establishing a public matching system for citizen-owned elections, and revamping the Federal Election Commission.
- Strengthen ethics laws to ensure the public officials work in the public interest, including by enforcing ethics and conflict of interest rules for all government officials, closing loopholes that allow former members of Congress to avoid cooling-off periods for lobbying, and breaking the revolving door between industry and the federal government.
More information about H.R.1 is available HERE.
Text of Wild’s bill is available HERE.