Lobbyists Will Likely De-Register To Overcome New White House Restriction

11/25/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

After the White House's announcement that federal agencies should avoid appointing lobbyists to federal advisory boards, more lobbyists are expected to terminate their registration status.

The Hill reports that lobbyists are unsure how to respond to the announcement. Many lobbyists make up the ranks of the more than 1,000 federal advisory committees that report to the General Services Administration under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

Norm Eisen, White House ethics adviser, made the announcement earlier this week in a blog post on the White House's Web site. Though lobbyists aren't totally banned from serving on advisory boards, agencies are discouraged from appointing them.

But Perle was not a registered lobbyist when he resigned from the board.

From The Hill:

Doug Pinkham, president of the Public Affairs Council, said the White House position is "absurd" and the administration does not understand how private-sector expertise can help the federal government. He said lobbyists are bound to de-register as lobbyists while continuing to help their companies.

"The administration's efforts to punish citizens for following the law and registering as lobbyists is bound to have unintended consequences," Pinkham said. "One of them will be that people working at companies, unions and nonprofits will try to de-list themselves if they don't reach the time threshold for registration. And that will reduce transparency in the public policy process."