In Congress, relatives lobby on bills before family members
The Post analysis shows that the interests of lawmakers and their relatives have overlapped to varying degrees on bills before Congress. In the past six years, for example, 36 congressional relatives — including spouses, children, siblings, parents and in-laws — have been paid to influence 250 bills passing through their family members’ congressional committees or sponsored by the members.
All of this is legal under the rules Congress has written for itself.
That lawmakers have relatives working as lobbyists has been widely reported over the years. Lawmakers have consistently said their relatives don’t lobby them directly. The 2007 overhaul prohibited spouses from direct lobbying but gave other relatives more leeway.
For the first time since the changes, however, The Post examination reveals the extent to which relatives are still paid to work on issues before their family members.
“It’s a technique of throwing money at the feet of the congressman who can influence my business,” said Craig Holman, a campaign finance and government ethics lobbyist for Public Citizen.