RELEASE: Mulvaney Comments Highlight Urgent Need to Fix Big Money Politics; CAP Offers Two Ways to Reduce Corruption

Washington, D.C. – A stunning admission this week from Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director and director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, highlights the corrupting influence of big money in politics and policy-making and the urgent need for strong, clear reforms.

Mulvaney told a group of bankers that, as a congressman, he would meet only with lobbyists who had contributed to his campaigns. “If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you,” Mulvaney said. “If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”

In response, the Center for American Progress is calling attention to two proposals that would reduce the opportunities for political corruption and prevent the flagrant buying of access by members of the influence industry.

First, CAP is proposing a ban on lobbyist fundraising. While lobbyists would still be able to give up to their individual contribution limits, they would be prohibited from hosting fundraisers or soliciting contributions as a way to increase their access and influence with members and candidates.

Second, CAP is urging a separate policy that bars lawmakers from accepting contributions from special interests with business before the legislative committees on which they sit. This would allow lawmakers to focus on the needs of their constituents rather than the agendas of deep-pocketed donors. CAP has previously advocated for the same policy to be adopted by Congress.

These plans would reduce the corrosive impact of lobbyist and special interest money so that the general public is fairly represented by their elected representatives. CAP has previously proposed a comprehensive set of reform proposals, including full disclosure of political spending, taking steps to prevent foreign influence in domestic elections, and supporting small-donor public financing.

Read the fact sheets:

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org, or 202-478-6327.