Congressman Jimmy Gomez of California’s 34th District could become known as the most sensible congressperson in the House of Representatives with his introduction of a bill that would severely limit the influence of lobbyists on our government.
The legislation, entitled H.R. 6759, the Executive Branch Conflicts of Interest Act – championed by the late Oversight Committee Chairman, Elijah Cummings – aims to reduce the influence of industry lobbyists on senior government officials and addresses the revolving door between lobbying firms and the government by strengthening and enhancing ethics requirements for federal employees. The Executive Branch Conflicts of Interest Act was included in H.R. 1 – AKA the For The People Act – a historic reform package to restore the promise of our nation’s democracy, end the culture of corruption in Washington, and reduce the role of money in politics to return the power back to the American people.
“The late Elijah Cummings was a man of principle, someone whose commitment to service, fairness, and justice knew no bounds,” said Congressman Gomez. “He understood the importance of government officials using their positions to make a difference in our communities and to serve the people, not themselves. It is in this spirit that I proudly reintroduce the Executive Branch Conflicts of Interest Act to help close the revolving door between corporate America and the Executive Branch. As the Vice Chairman of the Oversight Committee, I hope to continue honoring the legacy of Elijah Cummings and continue his fight to restore public trust in our government and hold those who put their own bottom lines before the welfare of our constituents accountable.”
To slow that revolving door and help ensure conflicts of interest do not erode the effectiveness of government regulators, the Executive Branch Conflict of Interest Act would:
-Ban private companies from making “golden parachute” payments that reward former employees for joining the government
-Strengthen recusal requirements to prevent senior government officials from taking actions that benefit their former employers or clients
-Strengthen restrictions prohibiting former federal contracting officials from joining private sector contracting firms
-Prohibit senior government officials from lobbying the agencies they worked at for two years after they leave federal employment, instead of the current one year.
If this were to pass, it would be a monumental chip at the pillars of corruption in our government, and it would be an Angeleno, Latino congressperson who pushed it through.