Trump Hand Delivers Promise of ‘Draining the Swamp’

trump-promiss-drain-swampMany will argue that the Donald Trump movement was driven by citizens fed up with the corruption and cronyism in our nation’s capital.

With his opponent in the general election, Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton, was generally recognized as a symbol of “pay for play” politics as a result of the revelations discovered by Wikileaks concerning the Clinton Foundation, voters looking for ethical reform in DC gravitated towards the Republican Nominee. Using rhetoric that was heavily anti-establishment, Donald Trump filled arenas around the country with supporters chanting what would become one of the most memorable phrases of the campaign, “Drain The Swamp.”

Trump Isn’t All Hot Air After-all

President Trump acted Saturday to attempt to prove that one of his more popular phrases was more than just rhetoric by signing an order banning administration officials from ever lobbying the US government on behalf of foreign governments and adding a separate five-year ban on other forms of lobbying.

“Most of the people standing behind me will not be able to go to work, So you have one last chance to get out” Trump stated, while addressing not only the media but the Administration officials who were in attendance. Present in the Oval Office as he spoke were Vice President Mike Pence, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Senior Strategist Steve Bannon and Counselor Kellyanne Conway. The President’s order states the bans are “solely enforceable” by the United States government “by any legally available means,” which includes debarment proceedings within any affected executive branch agency as well as civil court proceedings.

lobbying spending sector chart

The order supersedes one signed by former President Barack Obama on Jan. 21, 2009, that banned anyone from lobbying the United States government for a period of two years after leaving their administration post. Trump described Obama’s order as being “full of loopholes.”

The New Sheriff in Town Committed to Lay Down the Law

If any former appointees are found to have violated the ban, they may also be barred from lobbying their former agency for up to five years, on top of the five-year period covered by the pledge, the executive order states.

The Obama Administration was exposed in a report compiled by lobbying scholar Conor McGrath in The Journal of Public Affairs to have employed over 100 lobbyists as of summer 2013. The action was in direct opposition to his claim in the 2010 State of the Union speech that, “we have excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs.”

McGrath found that there were 119 former lobbyists in the Obama administration. That included former in-house lobbyists from Microsoft, Fannie Mae, Wellpoint, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Monsanto, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Raytheon, and Goldman Sachs. Obama was also discovered to have hired from K Street firms Cassidy & Associates, Akin Gump, Covington & Burling, Heather Podesta & Partners, Winston & Strawn, Arnold & Porter, Timmons & Co., as well as many others.

President Trump can waive any of the restrictions of the order at any time, but he said that those who want to work for him should focus on their job for the benefit of American people and not for revenues in the future when they could use their influence.

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