Remember way back in the days of 2016, when the Republican nominee for President said he was going to “drain the swamp” and Republican voters loved him for it? Well, rather than draining, the swamp just keeps growing, and it is due to Republicans like Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, who isn’t even waiting until her term in Congress is over to help the swamp grow:
Lynn Jenkins hasn’t left Congress yet, but the Kansas Republican has already launched a new lobbying firm.
Jenkins’ term in the U.S. House doesn’t officially end until the first week of January and she still faces major votes on the farm bill, homeland security budget and other legislation. But her new business, LJ Strategies, LLC, has already registered with the state of Kansas.
Ethics watchdogs say the situation makes a mockery of the rules restricting lawmakers from working as lobbyists until they’ve been out of office for at least one year.
And while outgoing Republican politicians rush to cash in as lobbyists, the Trump administration continues to welcome lobbyists into its ranks, such as Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, whose qualifications for the job appear to be his long career as a lobbyist for a coal company, and who is already making decisions that would benefit that company for whom he used to lobby:
The Trump administration plans to eliminate an Obama-era requirement that new coal-fired power plants have expensive technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.
This latest administration effort to boost fossil fuel industries comes as leaders from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Poland to discuss how to keep greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere. And amid reports that CO2 emissions are rising again, as well as the administration’s own report that climate change is causing more severe weather more frequently and could eventually hurt the U.S. economy.
The Environmental Protection Agency proposal would revise its “New Source Performance Standards” for coal power plants, allowing coal-fired generators to emit more CO2 per megawatt-hour of electricity generated. This would ease an Obama-era rule that was a central target in critics’ accusations of a “war on coal.”
The Trump supporters who cheered wildly when Donald Trump said he was going to “drain the swamp” might want to take a closer look at that swamp. It is full of Republican politicians.