The new Democratic leadership in the House has introduced as priority legislation (HR-1) a series of reforms including stronger ethical requirements affecting some federal employees.
While many of the provisions are aimed at political appointees, others would for example prohibit a federal procurement officer who leaves government from accepting any compensation for two years—effectively an employment bar—from any company to which the officer had awarded a contract.
It also would mandate that waivers of ethical requirements be disclosed to the public and prohibit senior officials who leave government from attempting to influence employees of their former agencies for two years.
The measure also would reauthorize the Office of Government Ethics and strengthen its enforcement powers.
Other features of the bill affect general election matters such as election integrity, required disclosures for political nominees, and more disclosure of political contributions.
Sen. Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, has said the bill won’t go anywhere but Democrats are calculating that Republican opposition to the reforms in the bill will be a bad look for them.