- Many of the members of Congress who retired or were voted out in the 2018 midterm elections have joined high-powered lobbying firms.
- This is despite a one-year ban on lobbying upon leaving office.
- While they do not engage in official lobbying activities, former members can take on consultant or advisory roles.
Many members of Congress who retire or are voted out of office have little difficulty finding new jobs. High-powered law and lobbying firms tap members of Congress to take on advisory roles until the one year ban on lobbying expires.
In 2018, many Republicans and some Democrats either retired from Congress or were voted out in a wave election. As a result, many have taken lucrative jobs at big firms.
Here’s a rundown of those members who left government for the private sector this year.
Republican Rep. Ed Royce (California), retired
After Republican Rep. Ed Royce of California retired in 2018, he quickly got a new job.
Royce, a former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck in February to advise clients, The Hill reported.
“I know many individuals who when it comes to US business interests and expansion into that markets, I think I can help with respect to advice, with respect to counsel, insights, certainly building a bridge for dialogue and helping to resolve problems from commercial disputes to opening markets,” Royce said.
Republican Rep. Bill Shuster (Pennsylvania), retired
Bill Shuster, who until the end of 2018 was serving as the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, joined the firm Squire Patton Boggs in February.
Squire Patton Boggs has a long list of clients, including corporations like UnitedHealth Group, Proctor & Gamble, and formerly Amazon.
Republican Rep. Lamar Smith (Texas), retired
During his tenure in Congress, Texas Republican Lamar Smith chaired the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
Just four days after his term ended in January, Smith joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld as a senior consultant. Akin Gump’s clients include large corporations like Amazon and Anheuser-Busch.
Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida), retired
Former Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen also joined Akin Gump as a senior advisor less than a week after her tenure in Congress came to an end.
“As home to the largest public policy practice in Washington, Akin Gump has always been a successful advocate on behalf of its clients, both domestic and foreign, on trade matters and other critical issues,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. “My move here builds so well on the work I have accomplished during my time in Congress, and I am excited to begin this next chapter in my career.”
Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley (New York), defeated in primary
New York Rep. Joe Crowley was poised to potentially become the next speaker of the House before losing in the Democratic primary to insurgent challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Since leaving Capitol Hill, Crowley has joined Squire Patton Boggs to be a part of their global public policy practice.
Crowley has also joined Pass USMCA as an honorary co-chairman. The group will advocate for the passage of President Donald Trump’s proposed plan to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock (Virginia), defeated in general election
In the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, Democratic challenger Jennifer Wexton easily unseated Republican Barbara Comstock in 2018. Comstock has since taken a job at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz as a senior advisor for their government relations and public policy group.
Baker Donelson has high-profile clients like defence companies General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin.
Republican Sen. Jon Kyl (Arizona), retired
Former Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona had a very quick trip through the revolving door in 2018.
Kyl was senior counsel for Covington & Burling, a large law and lobbying firm. Kyl had also been shepherding Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh through his confirmation process.
When Sen. John McCain died in office last year, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey tapped Kyl to replace him in September of 2018. At the end of the year, Kyl decided to leave the Senate once again. Less than one week after the 115th Congress ended, Kyl rejoined Covington & Burling.
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