Some newly elected members of Congress may be planning to record and publish any conversations their offices have with lobbyists.
Here's what we know
Several of the new Democratic members of Congress have publicly denounced lobbyists. Now, some of them might be planning to take that a step further.
There's talk that new Democratic members of Congress are going to start recording conversations with lobbyists and release them to the press pic.twitter.com/94TJHTX4Uj
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) January 3, 2019
According to the Politico Playbook:
Downtowners are increasingly nervous about how the incoming class of House Democrats will deal with lobbyists. Several have sworn off taking money from lobbyists. Others are making their name as members of the resistance, going against the grain of how things have traditionally been done in Washington.
Politico went on to say that lobbyists fear that incoming members of Congress or members of their staff "will tape conversations with lobbyists and release them to the press — even seemingly innocuous meetings of companies just looking to chat with aides."
Lobbyists are private individuals who are payed to petition lawmakers to support legislation that benefits a particular cause or corporation. Lobbying is perfectly legal, but some lobbyists use bribery, favors, or other corrupt means to persuade lawmakers to promote legislation that furthers their agenda.
Many former members of the House of Representatives have become lobbyists.
Both parties have periodically put forth legislation from time to time that would reportedly curb the influence of lobbyists. However, members of Congress have also frequently become lobbyists after leaving office. The Washington Post reported in 2016 that members from both parties seemed to become lobbyists after leaving Congress at about an equal rate.
In November, Politico wrote that lobbying groups were increasing its pressure on newly elected Democratic members of Congress.