Former Senators Now Lobbying For Sanctioned Russian Bank
If you think Eric Cantor is shamelessly cashing in, check this out. Russia has two new American comrades stepping up for them. Republican Trent Lott and Democrat John Breaux are now lobbying for a Russian bank sanctioned by the United States this summer.
Gazprombank GPB, a subsidiary of Russia’s third largest bank, Gazprombank, and controlled by Russia’s huge state-owned energy company and largest gas producer Gazprom, has hired former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) as main lobbyists under its account for the firm Squire Patton Boggs. They are to lobby on “banking laws and regulations including applicable sanctions.” The Treasury Department added Gazprombank GPB to a list of Russian firms prohibited from debt financing with U.S. banks in July.
Although lobbying for a sanctioned Russian bank seems particularly distasteful, Lott and Breaux are part of a growing trend of former lawmakers using their political influence for personal gain.
More than 300 members of Congress have become lobbyists, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, as they have valuable contacts and often favors they have done for colleagues that can give them leverage to ask for favors on behalf of clients. Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor this week joined a Wall Street firm in what some are calling a lobby-like position, since he does not have investment banking experience.