Shadow Congress

Shadow Congress

172 former congressmen and senators currently work as Washington lobbyists, according to a perceptive report by Justin Elliott and Zachary Roth of  Talking Points Memo. They work for trade associations and large law firms and as independent influence shapers for industry and monied interests. Not all are officially registered as lobbyists, but they use their influence to shape legislation nonetheless. Former members of Congress have access to Capitol and federal offices denied other citizens.

Retired legislators from 41 states are working as DC lobbyists, and Texas has the most (17). TPM has an interactive map with a list by state, but it is easier to name states without an ex-congressional K Street contingent: Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wyoming, and West Virginia.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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