Congressional aides in the U.S. House are supposed to wait at least one year after quitting their jobs to become lobbyists or accept other private sector jobs that utilize their Capitol Hill experience. But many former staffers avoid this restriction by exploiting loopholes in federal rules.
- · Foregoing pay bumps and keeping their salaries under a certain amount ($130,500, as of last year)
- · Being paid by an individual lawmaker, which allows them to immediately lobby former committee colleagues (something prohibited in the U.S. Senate)
- · Working on a representative’s reelection campaign while still being paid as a lobbyist—allowable because the activity is considered a form of free speech