K St. on edge: Block on foreign lobbying by ex-officials could become ‘seismic event’

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Compiled by Miles Yu,

A bill working its way through Congress has the potential to alter the dynamics of U.S. foreign policy by prohibiting former senior U.S. government officials from lobbying on behalf of foreign countries for a decade after leaving office.

Rep. Frank Wolf: "Why should somebody who had been an ambassador or CIA station chief then go out and work for that country?"

Introduced by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), the bill would prohibit the president, vice president, members of Congress, and other officers of the executive branch “from lobbying on behalf of foreign governments or instrumentalities for 10 years after leaving office.”

Wolf introduced the Foreign Lobbying Reform Act in March.

It was inserted as an amendment to the 2013 Financial Services and General Government spending bill, which passed the House Appropriations Committee by voice vote on June 20.

It is now headed for a floor vote by the full House and then on to the U.S. Senate.

The ban would have major implications for U.S. government policies towards countries that former senior government officials have taken on as clients after leaving office.

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