FTC Commissioner Julie Brill is Latest Example of Rotten Revolving Door Practices Undermining DC

JOINT STATEMENT — Jeff Hauser, Director, Revolving Door Project & David Segal, Executive Director, Rootstrikers

 Jeff Hauser, 202–957–9719
 Kurt Walters, 202–630–0299

Washington, D.C. — “We need public officials less eager to “revolve out” of critical jobs like FTC Commissioner and immediately go from regulator to “navigator for the regulated.”

“Indeed, while the Wall Street Journal quoted Brill being “excited about the opportunity to help companies and other stakeholders navigate an increasingly complicated regulatory landscape,” progressives committed to government that works well for the common good are unexcited about how routine it is for high ranking regulators to rapidly transform roles into advocates for the regulated.

“Brill provided only nine days of notice of departure from the FTC to join the law firm of Hogan Lovells. Two full weeks of notice is common for jobs barely paying the minimum wage, and one would have thought more, rather than less, notice appropriate for a job with a $200,000 a year salary, great benefits, and rather more significant prestige than for a job as a cashier. Brill was confirmed for a term ending September 25, 2016, and the public had every right to expect that she would serve that time out to completion.

“Even in a better functioning Washington, there is little chance that Brill’s spot can be filled before the summer recess of Congress. As the FTC will be left with at maximum a bare quorum, the ability of the FTC to act is endangered. Any member facing illness or family emergency could call the FTC’s ability to function under the Supreme Court’s decision in New Process Steel v. National Labor Relations Board (2010) into question.

“It is all too common for people to move seamlessly between regulating and representing the regulated, and we believe that all too regular a revolving door in Washington, D.C. tends to reduce the stringency and energy of enforcement. The practice of offering counsel on rules one helped to write or was tasked with enforcing, be it securities regulation or privacy laws, antitrust or white collar criminal enforcement, should end.

“Brill is far from the worst example of the revolving door in Washington, D.C., but the fact that this sort of hasty departure for even more highly remunerative work is the norm in D.C. is an outrage.”


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