DES MOINES, Iowa – U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, wants to prevent former members of Congress from lobbying on behalf of China and other communist regimes.
The Iowa Torch learned Hinson is an original co-sponsor of the No CCP Lobbying Act introduced on Monday.
This bill would prohibit former Members of Congress from lobbying on behalf of (1) communist governments and (2) entities controlled by communist governments. Violators of the law would be subject to a $25,000 penalty.
“Iowans sent me to Congress to help clean up the corruption in Washington and that is why I am proud to help introduce the No CCP Lobbying Act. This bill is simple: it prevents Members of Congress from lobbying on behalf of communist governments like China. Public servants should never have the option of turning around and lobbying on behalf of communist adversaries who seek to undermine the United States and our interests,” Hinson told The Iowa Torch.
Many former members of Congress end up lobbying their colleagues on behalf of corporations, special interests, and even foreign countries. According to Open Secrets, currently, 448 former members of Congress are now lobbyists. An NBCLX investigation in 2020 revealed that more than 50 former members of Congress have worked for foreign interests in the last five years for countries such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, and China. The Daily Beast in 2018 highlighted several former members of Congress who lobbied on behalf of China or one of the Chinese Communist Party’s interests.
Hinson campaigned on cleaning up Washington. In March, she introduced with U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., the “Promoting the Unbiased Role of Employees in the Executive Act” (PURE Executive Act), a bill that bans senior executive branch employees from lobbying the agency they were employed for five years after they leave their positions. It also prohibits those employees from lobbying on behalf of a foreign agent for life.
“People in the top tiers of government frequently have access to sensitive information that is critical to U.S. national security. It is no surprise that foreign governments that seek to undermine the U.S. are willing to pay a pretty penny to hire lobbyists who have classified knowledge, a high value understanding of the inner workings of U.S. politics, and access to other influential officials still in government,” Hinson wrote in an op/ed about that bill in The Dubuque Telegraph-Herald.
The bill currently has five co-sponsors.