February 2, 2014
“The revolving door is not so much Congress as the executive branch.”
That statement comes from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., during her Thursday night appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The declaration may seem counterintuitive, given that Pelosi’s office is one of the largest incubators of revolving door talent on Capitol Hill. According to data from Open Secrets at least 28 current and former Pelosi staffers have represented (or currently represent) special interests.
During her appearance, Stewart pressed the congresswoman on the obstacles facing small IT contractors who wanted to compete for bids working on the Affordable Care Act’s website. Stewart questioned whether an overly burdensome procurement process was allowed to continue because it favored big government contractors with the resources to successfully navigate the regulations.
When Stewart broached the issue that corporations may have too much influence on members of Congress, Pelosi was apparently unaware that one of her former staffers now works for Boeing. “I don’t know that, well… who?”
“Is it possible that the people within the system don’t have enough distance from it to see that people in congressional offices end up going and becoming lobbyists in corporations, these corporations lobby to get all kinds of arcane things put in to the regulation… can our Congress, maybe, not see the corruption inherent in that?”
Just another argument for my revolving-door surtax proposal. And, clearly, Rep. Pelosi won’t mind it applying to Congress, since there’s so little of that sort of thing going on there, anyway. . . .