Washington's revolving door between Congress and lobbying firm clogged K Street is whipping around at a much faster pace. According to a new probe revealed today, some one in eight top House and Senate aides used to lobby.
Of the 990 chiefs of staffs and legislative directors on Capitol Hill, 130 held lobbying posts in the pasts, many as recently as earlier this year when they jumped to join the staffs of the new class of lawmakers elected in 2010, mostly Republicans.
New research from the Center for Responsive Politics and Remapping Debate found that many of the powerful staffers from both parties have traveled in and out of government work and lobbying making them especially attractive to new members who are trying to get a foothold in Washington.
Lobbyists have been under fire in Washington ever since the Abramoff lobbying scandal broke and President Obama came to power decrying their influence in Washington. His aides have since started holding secret meetings with lobbyists as the administration plots a strategy to protect its budget from GOP spending cuts. And many of the groups that could suffer if the cuts go through, like public TV and Planned Parenthood, have also lobbied up to help their causes.
According to the two research groups, the majority of the staffers represented corporations, trade organizations, or worked for lobbying firms that represented corporations. They lobbied for groups like: the National Right to Work Committee, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and the Human Rights Campaign.
See the employment path of the 130 and who they now work for here.