Revolving Door is Alive and Well with Obamacare, but Takes a Rest at SEC
President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law has been a financial springboard for administration and congressional officials who have jumped into lucrative lobbying opportunities since leaving their government positions. The so-called “revolving door” that opens the way for government personnel to cash in on their knowledge and connections by going to work for special interests has also been an issue at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is taking steps to close its door.
In the case of those who worked on Obamacare, more than 30 former administration officials, lawmakers and congressional staffers who helped draft the law have become lobbyists since 2010.
They now operate out of offices on K Street, the traditional home of lobbying firms in Washington, DC, assisting large corporations, such as GlaxoSmithKline, UnitedHealth Group and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, as well as Delta Air Lines, UPS, BP America and Coca-Cola.
“Healthcare lobbying on K Street is as strong as it ever was, and it's due to the fact that the Affordable Care Act seems to be ever-changing," Ivan Adler, a headhunter at the McCormick Group, told The Hill. “What's at stake is huge. ... Whenever there's a lot of money at stake, there's a lot of lobbying going on.”
Meanwhile, the SEC has crafted a new regulation designed to close a loophole that allowed certain employees to lobby the agency immediately after leaving—something that has happened all too often in recent years, according to the independent watchdog the Project on Government Oversight.
The rule change, which is expected to take effect next year, mandates that any SEC worker who earned more than $155,440.50 annually will have to wait at least one year before they can represent clients before the commission.
Higher ups at SEC were already barred from helping Wall Street firms for at least one year after leaving their government post.
To Learn More:
SEC to Close Revolving Door Loophole (by Michael Smallberg, Project On Government Oversight)
ObamaCare's Architects Reap Windfall as Washington Lobbyists (by Megan R. Wilson, The Hill)
Revolving Door at SEC is in a Whirl as Hundreds Hired by Industry they Regulated (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Danny Biederman, AllGov)
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