President Barack Obama is directing federal agencies not to appoint federally registered lobbyists to advisory committees or other boards and commissions, formalizing a policy first announced last fall.
In a memorandum today, Obama directed the Office of Management and Budget to issue guidance implementing the policy within 90 days. The move is part of the administration's broader push to limit lobbyists' influence.
"We were pretty much expecting it" after Obama's push to remove lobbyists from the advisory boards last fall, said Dave Wenhold, president of the American League of Lobbyists, adding that it’s "a bad idea still." Wenhold said the policy will hurt small associations that cannot afford to have unregistered government relations staff available to serve on the boards.
"Now the lobbyist from Wal-Mart can’t sit on a trade advisory board...but the CEO of Wal-Mart can," Wenhold said.