THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY COUNSEL TO THE PRESIDENT BETH NOLAN Today the President has revoked Executive Order 12834, effective at
noon on January 20, 2001. The Executive Order has imposed special post-employment restrictions on senior appointees of the Clinton Administration in order to ensure that they not appear to have undue access to their former colleagues when their government service ended. It did so by extending to five years the one-year lobbying bar imposed on senior officials and trade negotiators by statute and also imposed a lifetime bar on activities that required registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
When the President signed the Executive Order, he did so to ensure that his senior appointees would be focused only on serving the American people. It has served that goal well. It has been in force throughout this Administration and has applied to thousands of senior appointees. Clinton Administration appointees have known from the outset that their sole purpose in accepting a government position was to work for the American people and not to further their own post-government careers.
The Executive Order has been applied only to those appointed by President Clinton; no appointees in prior Administrations have been subject to it, including senior appointees who held over from the prior Administration and served under President Clinton. The main policies underlying the Executive Order no longer apply when there is a change of parties at the White House. Senior appointees of the Clinton Administration will not have the kind of special access to a Republican Administration that the Executive Order was designed to regulate.
Indeed, as President Clinton is about to leave office, we have been urged by many, including the sponsors of the Presidential Appointee Initiative, to reexamine the need for continued application of the Executive Order. We agreed that a reevaluation makes sense at this time.
The President believes that the Executive Order has served its purpose. Former Clinton Administration appointees will still be limited by the post-employment restrictions that apply to all former government officials. Because special access is no longer a concern, however, the special measures contained in the Executive Order are no longer necessary. Thus the President has determined that his senior appointees will no longer be subject to the requirements of the Executive Order after January 20, 2001.
Furthermore, as a new President from a new party is about to assume office, the new Administration should have the same flexibility to decide for itself what post-employment restrictions it may wish to impose beyond that which the law already requires. By revoking Executive Order 12834, President Clinton leaves the new Administration with maximum flexibility.