What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Rights of Public Employees : H.R. 2555. Fiscal 2004 Homeland Security Appropriations/Vote to Prevent Unethical Lobbying Practices By Former Employees of the Department of Homeland Security.
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H.R. 2555. Fiscal 2004 Homeland Security Appropriations/Vote to Prevent Unethical Lobbying Practices By Former Employees of the Department of Homeland Security.
senate Roll Call 305     Jul 24, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

With access to almost $30 billion in taxpayer money, the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been a focal point of intense lobbying by firms eager to secure contracts from the department. In an effort to guard against unethical lobbying practices, Senator Byrd (D-WV) proposed an amendment to the homeland security spending bill which would have imposed on former employees of the Homeland Security Department and the White House Office of Homeland Security the same restrictions on lobbying as those that regulate the behavior of former Senators and senior Senate staff. Progressives supported Byrd's effort because, in their view, the "revolving door" between public and private employment can create inequities in the awarding of government contracts; with connections to the department, former DHS employees working as private lobbyists can potentially exert undue influence on their former colleagues to the detriment of the public writ large. Republicans opposed Byrd's amendment in accordance with their legislative strategy of defeating all amendments to the bill to preserve a majority coalition of lawmakers who support the underlying appropriations bill. The Byrd amendment failed to secure majority support and was rejected on a nearly party-line vote of 46-46.

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