Lawmaker Introduces Bill Barring Federal Pensions for Former Members of Congress Turned Millionaire Lobbyists
By Martin Hill
LibertyFight.com
February 4, 2015


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Congressman Steve Israel [D. NY] has introduced the "Revolving Door Pension Prevention Act," (H.R.567) a proposal to prevent retiring members of congress from receiving federal pensions if they become millionaire lobbyists. Revealingly, the bill has no cosponsors. Israel issued a press release which stated:

Rep. Israel Reintroduces Bill Barring Federal Pensions for Former Members of Congress Turned Millionaire Lobbyists - Feb 2, 2015
Legislation will prevent former Members of Congress who earn $1 million or more as lobbyists from receiving federal pensions
Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) reintroduced legislation that would prevent any former Members of Congress who work as registered lobbyists and are compensated $1 million or more from accessing their congressional pensions.
Rep. Israel said, "Former Members of Congress who have earned a million dollars or more in a single year as lobbyists are the last people who should be receiving federal pensions. Instead of helping support millionaires, my legislation will ensure that taxpayer funds are spent helping the middle class and working families who need it most." The Revolving Door Pension Prevention Act, H.R. 567, would force any former Members of Congress who become millionaire lobbyists to forfeit their federal pensions. A Republic Report investigation into the partial salary reports of 12 former lawmakers that became lobbyists showed that their salaries increased by an average of 1,452% from the last year they were in office to the latest publicly available disclosure.


Although Rep. Israel didn't name the twelve former lawmakers which were featured in the 'Republic Report' story he referenced, they are: Congressman Billy Tauzin (R-LA); Congressman Cal Dooley (D-CA); Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT); Congressman Steve Largent (R-OK); Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD); Congressman Richard Baker (R-LA); Congressman Jim Slattery (D-OK); Congressman James Greenwood (R-PA); Congressman Glenn English (D-OK); Congressman Steve Bartlett (R-TX); Congressman Matt Salmon & (R-AZ); Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR).

Here is a link and excerpt from that story, which is very good investigative journalism:


Analysis: When a Congressman Becomes A Lobbyist, He Gets a 1,452% Raise (on Average)
Selling out pays. If you�re a corporation or lobbyist, what�s the best way to "buy" a member of Congress? Secretly promise them a million dollars or more in pay if they come to work for you after they leave office. Once a public official makes a deal to go to work for a lobbying firm or corporation after leaving office, he or she becomes loyal to the future employer. And since those deals are done in secret, legislators are largely free to pass laws, special tax cuts, or earmarks that benefit their future employer with little or no accountability to the public. While campaign contributions and super PACS are a big problem, the every day bribery of the revolving door may be the most pernicious form of corruption today. (See our post on Monday about current members of Congress already negotiating for jobs on K Street)

...Former Congressman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) made $19,359,927 as a lobbyist for pharmaceutical companies between 2006 and 2010. Tauzin retired from Congress in 2005, shortly after leading the passage of President Bush�s prescription drug expansion. He was recruited to lead PhRMA, a lobbying association for Pfizer, Bayer, and other top drug companies. During the health reform debate, the former congressman helped his association block a proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate for drug prices, a major concession that extended the policies enacted in Tauzin�s original Medicare drug-purchasing scheme. Tauzin left PhRMA in late 2010. He was paid over $11 million in his last year at the trade group. Comparing Tauzin�s salary during his last year as congressman and his last year as head of PhRMA, his salary went up 7110%.

...Former Congressman Steve Bartlett (R-TX) has made at least $9,192,761 as the chief lobbyist for an association of investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and JP Morgan Chase. Bartlett has worked as the head of the Financial Services Roundtable, a trade association he joined in 1999. Republic Report could only obtain disclosures from recent years, providing us an incomplete picture of his salary. Bartlett�s salary at the Financial Services Roundtable is 1770% higher than his last year in Congress.


Disclaimer: While this proposal would be a great law, LibertyFight.com does not in any way endorse Steve Israel. His Wikipedia profile points out that Israel, a Jewish Democrat, is anti-gun, a defender of Obamacare, pro abortion, pro homo marriage, pro war on terror, and pro (nation of) Israel. Here is his official website.


Here is the complete text of the bill:

H.R.567 - To provide that a former Member of Congress receiving compensation as a highly-paid lobbyist shall be ineligible to receive certain Federal retirement benefits, and for other purposes.

114th Congress (2015-2016)
Sponsor: Rep. Israel, Steve [D-NY-3] (Introduced 01/27/2015)
Committees: House - House Administration; Oversight and Government Reform
Latest Action: 01/27/2015 Referred to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 567 Introduced in House (IH)]
114th CONGRESS 1st Session
H. R. 567
To provide that a former Member of Congress receiving compensation as a highly-paid lobbyist shall be ineligible to receive certain Federal retirement benefits, and for other purposes.



IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 27, 2015

Mr. Israel introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL To provide that a former Member of Congress receiving compensation as a highly-paid lobbyist shall be ineligible to receive certain Federal retirement benefits, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the "Revolving Door Pension Prevention Act''.

SEC. 2. FORFEITURE OF BENEFITS FOR ANY FORMER MEMBER OF CONGRESS WHO BECOMES A HIGHLY-PAID LOBBYIST.


(a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a former Member of Congress may not be paid any covered benefit if such former Member is--
(1) a registered lobbyist; and
(2) receives in any year annual compensation equal to or greater than $1,000,000 as a direct result of lobbying activities.
(b) Former Member of Congress.--For purposes of this section, the term "former Member of Congress'' means any Member of Congress who becomes a former Member of Congress after the date of enactment of this Act.
(c) Covered Benefits.--For purposes of this section, the term "covered benefits'', as used with respect to a former Member of Congress, means any payment or other benefit which is payable, by virtue of service performed by such former Member, under any of the following:
(1) The Civil Service Retirement System, including the Thrift Savings Plan.
(2) The Federal Employees Retirement System, including the Thrift Savings Plan.
(3) The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, including enhanced dental benefits and enhanced vision benefits under chapters 89A and 89B, respectively, of title 5, United States Code.
(d) Rules of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be considered to prevent the payment of--
(1) any lump-sum credit, as defined by section 8331(8) or 8401(19) of title 5, United States Code, to which a former Member of Congress subject to subsection (a) is entitled;
(2) any contributions in the account of a former Member of Congress subject to subsection (a) in the Thrift Savings Fund which, as of the date on which subsection (a) applies to a former Member, is nonforfeitable; or



(3) any annuity payments with respect to an annuity of a former Member of Congress subject to subsection (a) to a former spouse or survivor who is entitled to such payments.
(e) Application.--Any forfeiture of an annuity under subsection (a) shall be effective on January 1 of the year immediately following any year, beginning in 2016, in which the former Member of Congress receives annual compensation equal to or greater than $1,000,000.
(f) Regulations.--Any regulations necessary to carry out this section may be prescribed by--
(1) except as provided in paragraph (2), the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; and
(2) to the extent that this Act relates to the Thrift Savings Plan, by the Executive Director (as defined by section 8401(13) of title 5, United States Code).
(g) Definitions.--For purposes of this Act--
(1) the terms "agency'', "client'', "covered executive branch official'', "covered legislative branch official'', "lobbyist'', "lobbying activities'', and "lobbying contact'', have the meaning given such terms in section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1602);
(2) the term "Member of Congress'' has the meaning given such term in section 2106 of title 5, United States Code; and

(3) the term "registered lobbyist'' means a lobbyist registered or required to register, or on whose behalf a registration is filed or required to be filed, under section 4 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1603). https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/567/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22israel%22%5D%7D


Also see:
  • Republic Report sends letter to 36 retiring members of congress: stop backdoor bribery, disclose your job negotiations with K Street Among those refusing to comply were Joe Lieberman (I), Barney Frank (D) and David Dreier (R).
  • Bribery by another name: while still in office, congressman Heath Shuler (D. NC) already negotiating with K Street to become a lobbyist
  • Retiring lawmaker Brad Miller commits to disclosing any job negotiations with lobbyists

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    Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, TargetLiberty.com, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, HenryMakow.com, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, SaveTheMales.ca, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com, BeforeItsNews.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.



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