Akin Gump Partners Argue in The Hill Op-Ed That New Lobbying Rules Are Misdirected

Akin Gump partners Joel Jankowsky and Hal Shapiro have written the article “Drain the swamp” for The Hill regarding President Trump’s executive order pursuant to the Lobby Disclosure Act (LDA) of 1995. Jankowsky, a partner in Akin Gump’s public law and policy practice, and Shapiro, the chair of the firm’s regulatory practice steering committee and a partner in its international trade practice, outline the provisions of the executive order and then describe why it “adds more uncertainty to an already murky and unfortunate policy.”

Jankowsky and Shapiro write that the new rules, which in general “apply only to those who register under the LDA, have had, and will now have, the unfortunate consequence of decreasing transparency by increasing circumvention and “de-registrations” for those who want to avoid the label “lobbyist.” They add that it will be no different than it was under former President Barack Obama, discouraging “a number of otherwise qualified individuals, from contributing their expertise to the administration because of the stigma of being a lobbyist.”

The authors propose two changes: First, they suggest that the requirement to register and report under the LDA be broadened, leading to greater transparency, rather than less. They also call for the limitations under the executive order to be applied to everyone, “including campaign contributors, not just to those registered under the LDA.”