Republican President-elect Donald Trump is facing a call on his bluff to rid Washington, D.C., of lobbyists. Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, has introduced a tongue-in-cheek bill aimed at helping Trump achieve his goals.
The DRAIN the SWAMP Act (or Deter Revolving-Door Appointments in Our Nation; Stop Washington Appointees from Becoming Manipulative Petitioners) was introduced by DeFazio on Dec. 8, notes The Hill.
“I want to help him in this effort,” DeFazio said. “Unfortunately, his proposal lacks any enforcement mechanism. I want this to be more than a press release.”
Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp” was bolstered by two proposed lobbying restrictions by the president-elect in November.
Jason Miller, Trump’s communications director, and Sean Spicer, a Trump adviser and Republican National Committee spokesman, announced that any White House official leaving their post will be banned from becoming a lobbyist for five years after. Furthermore, former political appointees would be banned for life from lobbying for foreign governments.
"Why that is crucial is that it goes back to Mr. Trump's goal of making sure that people aren't using the government to enrich themselves and using their service in government to do that," Spicer said, notes CNN.
"Everybody's a lobbyist down there," Trump told CBS’s “60 Minutes” a week after his election, according to CNN. "That's the problem with the system -- the system. We're doing a lot of things to clean up the system. But everybody that works for government, they then leave government and they become a lobbyist, essentially. I mean, the whole place is one big lobbyist."
Meanwhile, Trump’s transition team has faced criticism as being packed with lobbyists and Washington insiders.
John Yoo, a University of California Berkeley law professor, and scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, joked of Trump’s connection to the conservative Heritage Foundation at a November event.
"I'm surprised there are so many people here because I thought everyone at Heritage was working over at transition headquarters," Yoo said. "I asked the taxi cab driver to take me to Trump transition headquarters and he dropped me off here, instead."