VOX POPULI NEWSLETTER
New Study Reveals Large Bipartisan Support for Restricting When Former Government Officials Can Lobby
As 66 soon-to-be former Members of Congress move out of their congressional offices, overwhelming bipartisan majorities support extending the period that former government officials must wait before they can lobby the government.
All four policy proposals garnered support from large bipartisan majorities:
- Extending the lobbying waiting period for former Members from two years to five years (65%, Republicans 65%, Democrats 67%)
- Extending the waiting period for senior Congressional staffers from one year to two years (74%, Republicans 75%, Democrats 75%)
- Extending the waiting period for senior Executive Branch officials from 1-2 years to five years (71%, Republicans 72%, Democrats 72%)
- Prohibiting senior Executive Branch officials from ever lobbying on behalf of foreign governments (71%, Republicans 71%, Democrats 74%).
Bipartisan support for these proposals has remained steady since PPC’s first public consultation survey on lobbying policies in 2017.
Put yourself in the shoes of policymakers by trying our policymaking simulation on when, and whether, former government officials should be able to lobby the government. In this simulation, you’ll get a briefing about the issue, learn the arguments for and against the proposals, and register your views. Once you finish the simulation, you’ll have a chance to send your recommendations to your House and Senate representatives in Congress.
The Brazilian Parliament has long been leading the way in innovations to democracy in the digital world. As the Inter-Parliamentary Union notes in their latest report on global citizen engagement, “The Parliament of Brazil consistently ranks at the very top in terms of digital maturity.” One of the main bodies in charge of democratic innovations has been Brazil’s HackerLab, which has used artificial intelligence and novel web design to bring legislatures and citizens together in a civil, productive manner.
In 2009, Brazil set up E-Democracia, a platform used to engage with constituents and representatives through surveys, digital forums and wiki tools in which users can collaborate on identifying problem and solutions. The platform includes “virtual communities” for debates on specific topics and “Wikilegis”, which allows users to directly comment on or contribute to sections of draft legislation. It currently has about 37,000 registered users.
Another innovative platform was set up in 2012 for Brazil’s Senate – e-Cidadania – to enable citizens to communicate with their Senators, and vice versa. The portal is divided into three sections: Ideia Legislativa (Legislative Idea), Consulta Pública (Public Consultation) and Evento Interativo (Interactive Event). A recent use of this platform has been about the regulation of political advertising. Before a public hearing on the issue, citizens submitted questions and comments on the platform, which were then addressed online and at the hearing. Between 2015 and 2020, over 40 million Brazilians have accessed the platform, representing nearly a fifth of the total population.
Making abortion a crime after 15 weeks of pregnancy has been put forward as a middle-ground option by some officials, including Virginia Governor Youngkin and US Senator Graham. Currently, Florida is the only state with a 15-week ban, with over a dozen others banning abortion after conception.
VOP has previously reported that the most popular position nationwide is to not make any abortion a crime, with a bipartisan majority finding common ground on keeping it legal before the fetus is viable (see PPC’s public consultation survey on abortion policy). The 15-week ban also doesn’t get majority support from Republicans (40%) nationwide, nor Republicans in states with full bans (39%).
Are there any groups, then, that do support a 15-week ban? To answer this, another analysis of this survey was conducted with a focus on more specific demographic and partisan sub-groups. to see whether a 15-week ban has majority support among any demographic or partisan sub-groups. Such a ban does not garner majority support among the public nationally, Republicans nationally, nor Republicans in states with full abortion bans. There is only one group in which a majority supports a 15-week ban: Evangelical Republicans, with a modest majority of 55% in support.