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 Tammy Baldwin
Thirteen Senators to President Trump: “It is a small price to pay for the unparalleled honor and gravity of your post that you not attempt to capitalize financially on the presidency”
In Milwaukee County, overdose deaths involving Fentanyl increased by nearly 500% since 2011
Senator Baldwin Calls for Federal Investigations and Swift Action Regarding Hazardous Materials at Wisconsin Barrel Recycling PlantsFeb 21st, 2017 by Tammy Baldwin
Chemicals in barrels recycled in Wisconsin neighborhoods may have put workers, families and communities at risk
“We are concerned that the unprecedented elevation of a political operative to the senior leadership of the NSC may compromise the national security decision making process and put American lives at risk at home and abroad.”
More than 80 rural hospitals have closed in recent years.
Senators Call for Independent Prosecutor to Investigate Trump Officials’ Collusion with Russia and Apparent White House Cover-UpFeb 15th, 2017 by Tammy Baldwin
Senators to Sessions: “At stake is the integrity and honesty of our most trusted public officials and the viability of our justice system”