WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) bill, S.2896 the Justice Against Corruption on K Street Act, also known as the JACK Act, passed the U.S. Senate today. The JACK Act requires 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 disclose 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, especially if they’re wearing $6,000 suits purchased with the money from prior misdeeds,” 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 was proud to work with my dear friend Sen. Kennedy on this bipartisan, commonsense legislation that will ensure businesses know who is representing them in Washington, D.C. Currently, 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. That’s absurd. This legislation will ensure that felons have to be upfront about their past,” Sen. Manchin said.