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Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 06/22/2012

Federal officials beware! Lobbying for unsavory governments may be banned

Attention lobbyists! The fiscal 2013 financial services bill approved Wednesday in the House Appropriations Committee includes a provision that trims a lucrative client base for former presidents, members of Congress, top spies and senior political appointees.

Those officials — as well as retired generals and admirals — would be barred from lobbying for certain unpleasant governments — and any companies they own or control — for 10 years after leaving federal office.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), applies to any countries the State Department designates as a “Country of Particular Concern” for severe human rights violations and religious persecution.

That group now includes Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan.

An earlier version of the the bill had a world-wide ban on such lobbying, but that seemed a bit too much for some members.

The financial services bill, a must-pass measure, is headed for conference with a Senate version. We’ll see whether the Senate goes along.

(Before panic sets in, it should be noted that the bill is not retroactive.)

By  |  06:00 AM ET, 06/22/2012

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