" />
Dec. 19, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER
Download CQ Roll Call's Definitive Guide to the 114th Congress | Sign Up for Roll Call Newsletters | Get the Latest on the Roll Call App

Street Talk: House GOP Lobbyists See Change In Fortunes

File Photo
Former Rep. Deborah Pryce says business for Republican-friendly lobbyists has picked up since it became clear that 2010 would be a good year for the GOP.

I thought it was a growth experience, Thorsen said of building up a clientele while Democrats controlled both chambers and the administration. It really forced me to hone my focus on ways I could add value for clients when it wasnt always abundantly apparent.

Id lobbied when we were still in the majority, and in that capacity I thought my role was more straightforward and the goals more obvious, he added. In the House minority, especially when theres a big margin, you have to hustle more, you have to look at the process more closely and understand where the pressure points are.

During the past few years that Republicans have been in the minority on Capitol Hill, Drew Maloney, another former DeLay aide, forged new connections to the Senate and continued to build relationships with House Republicans. And as one of the minds behind the National Republican Congressional Committees Club 218 fundraising program, Maloney worked to help his party retake the majority.

I think the new majority is going to be operationally different from the previous you learn from prior mistakes, then try to improve, he said.

Howard, vice chairman at Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, said it has felt a bit like the past while advising House Republican aides on Capitol Hill over the past week.

I was up there quite a bit this week, talking to people, said Howard, who also worked for then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and in the George W. Bush administration. I was struck by a lot of the experiences that theyre going through are similar to what we were going through in 94. But theyre much better prepared because they know what to prepare for. We really didnt because it had been 40 years.

Even veteran Republicans such as Howard, whose advice is sought by those on the Hill, will need to adapt to a new lineup of committee chairmen and fresh faces.

Ive known them, but the challenge for me is, I need to understand their priorities, their agenda, and then be able to interpret that for clients, he said. The rhythm of the town is going to switch. You walk through the hallways. The rooms are all the same, a lot of people are the same, but theres a lot of change.

He added: You cant put too much stock in the old ways. Theres going to be a powerful current of change, and youve got to adapt to that.

Hellmann noted that House Republicans clearly have a stronger and better relationship with the business community. And theyll be moving legislation which the business community wants to see passed, so its in their best interest to work together, he said.

And even if the GOP-connected lobbyists find themselves competing with one another for clients or face time with Members, Hellmann said its a tight-knit group.

In the end, were family, he said. We spent years together working; sure we may compete, either at an association level or firm level, but we can still all be friends at the end of the day.

comments powered by Disqus

SIGN IN




OR

SUBSCRIBE

Want Roll Call on your doorstep?