Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Congress Increasingly Staffed By Former Lobbyists

Congress Increasingly Staffed By Former Lobbyists

The number of former lobbyists working as key congressional staffers has more than doubled since the Republican Party took control of the House, a new report finds.

The Center found that 128 former lobbyists work in key staff positions in this Congress, compared to 60 in the last one. Researchers also determined that two House committees -- Financial Services and Energy and Commerce -- "have the highest cumulative number of former lobbyists employed by their members." Each have 14.

Among the other companies with more than five former lobbyists now on congressional staffs: Lockheed Martin, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, Verizon and Microsoft.

Lobbyists are sometimes suspected of writing legislation for sympathetic members of Congress. But now, increasingly, they are actually getting paid to do exactly that -- though as Kevin Bogardus and Rachel Leven wrote in The Hill last month, "many of those lobbyists agreed to substantial reductions in their annual salary for a chance to work for members of Congress."

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