The symbiotic relationship between Congress and lobbying firms is still strong, The Washington Post reports.
More than 5,000 former congressional staffers and nearly 400 former U.S. lawmakers became federal lobbyists in the past 10 years, according to data published by the online disclosure site LegiStorm. On the flip side, 605 former lobbyists moved to Capitol Hill to work for lawmakers.
Why the revolving door? Hill staffers can take advantage of their experience and the connections they built working inside the legislative process as they transition to lobbying. By the same token, lawmakers appreciate lobbyists’ familiarity with the Hill, The Post said.
The data was compiled by matching House and Senate lobbying records with names in LegiStorm’s congressional salary database and was released as part of a subscription service LegiStorm launched on Tuesday. The service contains personal information for some congressional staffers, which may reignite a debate over the publication of that information, according to The Post.
LegiStorm received criticism several years ago for posting documents related to staffers’ personal financial information. The site later agreed to redact portions of the documents with sensitive information.
There are approximately 14,000 people who work on the Hill and 11,700 registered lobbyists.