So much for that
A firewall between registered lobbyists and the government is set to fall as the White House will soon scale back its prohibition on the former serving on panels that influence policymaking by the latter, according to Politico.
The Office of Management and Budget is expected to release new guidance Wednesday that would allow lobbyists to serve on an array of federal advisory boards, giving the private sector more direct access to policymaking. The tweak would impact a policy Obama announced to no small amount of fanfare in 2010 that was aimed at limiting corporate influence in government. Though lobbyists will now be able to participate in such panels — of which there are more than 1,000 — they'll only be permitted to do so when working directly on behalf of a company or interest group, and not when acting as private citizens.
The change comes more than two years after lobbyists sued the White House over the ban. An appeals court earlier this year questioned whether the ban was acceptable, and ordered a lower court to reconsider the case. As Politico noted in a separate story Tuesday on the administration's attitude toward Washington's infamous revolving door, the White House has already hired around 70 former registered lobbyists.