Former members of Congress, always welcome on Capitol Hill and even in the Senate and House chambers, would be forbidden from lobbying their former colleagues for a year under legislation approved by the Senate.
The Senate approved by voice vote Tuesday a tougher, government-wide anti-lobbying law which, for the first time, imposes the same anti-lobbying bans on former members of Congress as on top administration and White House officials.Although Congress has traditionally exempted itself from various laws civil rights, fair employment, occupational health and safety the Senate broadened the anti-lobbying law to include former members of the Senate and House.
The bill was sent to the House, where Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., indicated there could be resistance because many more people are involved. The Senate also added amendments that would wipe out some current House perks.
The bill bars high-level officers of the government, members of Congress, department heads and their deputies and top White House aides from lobbying former colleagues for one year after they leave office.
Criminal penalties could range up to five years in jail and $250,000 in fines.