A Little Less Work for Lobbyists

A White House policy of encouraging U.S. government agencies to exclude registered lobbyists from sitting on government advisory boards has irked some business lobby groups. In late September, Norm Eisen, the special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform, announced the administration's aim of ensuring that "federally-registered lobbyists not be appointed to agency advisory boards and commissions." The Industry Trade Advisory Committees (IATC), representing over a dozen advisory panels advising the Commerce Department and the U.S. Trade Representative, object to the new policy. A letter letter on behalf of IATC signed by executives from companies and trade associations, including the Edison Electric Institute, Boeing and IBM, argues that the new rule would exclude over 130 lobbyists from the committees they are involved with. In a response posted on the White House blog, Eisen argued that lobbyists "have wielded extraordinary power" in Washington D.C. and that the result had been "a national agenda too often skewed in favor of the interests that can afford their services."