Baldwin and Cummings Introduce Legislation to Slow Revolving Door between Wall Street and Washington
Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act would have prohibited golden parachute payouts Trump nominees received
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) today reintroduced the Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act to slow the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington, prohibit “golden parachute” bonus payouts, and combat conflicts of interest.
“President Trump promised to ‘drain the swamp,’ but this revolving door keeps spinning,” said Senator Baldwin. “When Wall Street insiders and corporate executives move through the revolving door from the private sector to public service, they should not be rewarded with golden parachutes simply for joining the Trump Administration. The people of Wisconsin cannot afford to have insiders in the pocket of powerful special interests writing the rules and making a rigged system in Washington worse.”
“Our bill is critical to ensuring that federal employees are working for the American people—not for Wall Street investors,” said Cummings. “President Trump’s administration is filled with Wall Street executives who are lining their pockets with hefty payouts from their previous employers. Congress must stop golden parachutes to maintain the trust and independence of the President’s nominees.”
On October 22, 2016, then-candidate Trump said: “I’ve seen the system up-close-and-personal for many years. I’ve been a major part of it. I know how the game works in Washington and on Wall Street and I know how they’ve rigged the rules of the game against everyday Americans. The rules are rigged.”
Recently, many of President Trump’s nominees have been found to have troubling conflicts of interest and golden parachute payouts. Gary Cohn, President Trump’s choice for Director of the National Economic Council, will receive more than $100 million—including $35 million in stock awards and $23 million in corporate shares—when moving from Goldman Sachs to the Trump Administration according to reports. Rex Tillerson, Trump’s Secretary of State pick, is set to receive a nearly $180 million payout deal from ExxonMobil, the oil giant he used to run.
These golden parachute payouts and bonuses would be illegal under the Baldwin-Cummings Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act.
To slow the revolving door and help ensure that conflicts of interest do not erode the effectiveness of financial regulators, the Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act:
- Outlaws Bonuses for Government Work: The legislation would prohibit government employees from accepting bonuses from their former private sector employers for entering government service.
- Expands Cooling-Off Periods and Tightens Lobbying Rules: The legislation would increase the prohibition on lobbying the federal government from one to two years and expands the definition of “lobbying contact” to include any lobbying activities and strategy. It also increases the current prohibition on federal examiners from accepting employment with any financial institutions they oversaw from one year to two years. It expands the prohibition to include supervisors, and it prohibits procurement officers in the federal government from working for companies that received contracts overseen by the procurement officers during their last two years in government service.
- Reduces Conflicts of Interest: The legislation would require senior financial service regulators to recuse themselves from any official actions that directly or substantially benefit the former employers or clients for whom they worked in the previous two years before joining federal service.
The Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act is supported by the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Americans for Financial Reform, Center for Effective Government, Common Cause, Consumer Action, Government Accountability Project, Greenpeace, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, James A. Thurber, Public Citizen, RootStrikers, CREDO Action, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG).
Quotes in support of the legislation are available here.
More information on the Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act is available here.
Press Releases by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Bipartisan legislation boosts the health care workforce to help Americans with life-threatening illnesses
American Health Care Act would jeopardize coverage for 24 million Americans, including 2.8 million suffering from a substance use disorder
U.S. Senators Baldwin, Tester and Gillibrand Push Administration to Provide Trauma Services for Victims of Military Sexual HarassmentMar 20th, 2017 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Reports surfaced recently that members of the U.S. Marine Corps have been posting nude photos of fellow female service members on an invite-only Facebook Group without their knowledge or consent.
President Trump’s Budget Eliminates Investments in Great Lakes, Tells Governor Walker to Provide FundingMar 16th, 2017 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Senator Baldwin to Governor Walker: “What is your plan to provide the funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that President Trump’s budget would eliminate?”
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Renews Bipartisan Effort to Raise the Quality of Career and Technical EducationMar 15th, 2017 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Numerous career and education groups support the Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce Act.
“Every government contract your administration signs risks sending hardworking Americans’ tax dollars abroad.”