The Donald Trump who raged against big money’s influence on politics is back.
Trump on Monday night released a slate of lobbying and campaign finance proposals, catching reform advocates by surprise and pressuring Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to detail her own lobbying reform positions.
Trump called for five-year bans on lobbying by executive branch officials, and a similar ban that would apply to members of Congress and congressional staff. He also proposed tightening the definition of lobbyists under the law so more people would be covered by the requirements that apply to lobbyists.
In addition, Trump said he would call on Congress to prohibit lobbyists for foreign governments from fundraising for American political candidates and seek a constitutional amendment to impose congressional term limits.
What Trump didn’t say: Most of the proposals’ prospects range from unlikely to inconceivable.
If elected, Trump could issue an executive order restricting the ability of former employees to lobby his administration, but anything permanent — or any ban that applies to the legislative branch — would have to be passed by Congress, historically a tough proposition.
Consider that the last major lobbying reform legislation passed by Congress was the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, adopted nearly a decade ago in the wake of notorious ethics scandals and itself ridden with loopholes.
Constitutional amendments, meanwhile, are exceedingly rare and difficult to ratify. The most recent, the 27th amendment, which deals with congressional salaries, passed in 1992.
Since 1993, Congress has considered more than 1,000 constitutional amendment proposals — all have failed.