May 22 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today introduced the Justice Against Corruption on K Street Act, also known as the JACK Act. The JACK Act would require lobbyists to disclose if they have ever been convicted of bribery, extortion, embezzlement, illegal kickbacks, tax evasion or money laundering in their lobbying disclosure and registration forms.
The bill’s title refers to Jack Abramoff, who didn’t have to mention his prison sentence for public bribery and other crimes when he re-registered as a lobbyist last year. The JACK Act will ensure that members of the public know who is representing them in Washington.
“This idea is simple: If you have been convicted of a felony like bribery, extortion, embezzlement or tax evasion, you should have to disclose that when registering to become a lobbyist. Corrupt lobbyists need to be brought into the sunlight, even if they’re wearing $6,000 suits,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Political leaders and businesses need to know the backgrounds of those who are trying to influence public policy. These corrupt lobbyists are the worst kind of swamp creatures and they need a one-way ticket out of Washington.”
“I think many people would be surprised to learn that lobbyists don’t need to disclose if they have been convicted of bribery, extortion, embezzlement, illegal kickbacks, tax evasion, or money laundering when they register to become a lobbyist, or to the businesses they could be representing and the Congressional offices they could be meeting with. In any other profession, job interview or job application, you have to disclose that info and it’s just commonsense that those same rules should be applied to lobbyists. That’s why I’m glad to join my friend Sen. Kennedy in introducing the JACK Act. This bipartisan bill will increase transparency and allow businesses to know who is representing them,” Sen. Manchin said.