Paul L. Caron

Monday, July 9, 2018

NY Times: Government Work Done, Tax Policy Writers Decamp To Lobbying Jobs

New York Times, Government Work Done, Tax Policy Writers Decamp to Lobbying Jobs:

Six months after Republicans pushed a $1.5 trillion tax overhaul through Congress, many of the most influential players who worked behind the scenes on the legislation are no longer on Capitol Hill or in the Trump administration.

They are now lobbyists.

The two-way street between lobbying and lawmaking is well worn in Washington. But after President Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp,” there was some speculation that the so-called special interests might be sidelined. And while the frenetic two-month sprint last year to pass the tax legislation left some lobbyists marginalized, the businesses now scrambling to navigate the changes are increasingly recruiting the people who wrote it.

With the November midterm elections near, and the possibility that Republicans could lose control of the House or the Senate, staff members have additional motivation to move on.

“Companies are looking to better understand the legislation and potentially affect future changes, which is why they are snatching up top talent,” said Ken Spain, a Republican consultant who works on financial and tax issues. “With the uncertainty of the election looming, Republican staffers are quietly making themselves available to K Street while they can still demand top asking price.”

While they might not be household names, those who have decamped to the private sector played a major role in the passage of the most sweeping tax bill in three decades. More than a dozen people have already migrated this year, and more are expected to follow as the elections draw closer.

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