Outgoing Sen. Bob Bennett will launch the Bennett Consulting Group on Jan. 6, the day after the Senators of the 112th Congress will be sworn in, according to Tim Stewart, a former staffer who will join the venture.
The Utah Republican “is going back to his business consulting roots,” Stewart said Tuesday, with the lawmaker’s core interests being financial services, health care and energy. Bennett serves on the Appropriations, Banking and Energy and Natural Resources committees, among others.
Bennett is barred from lobbying for two years, and “the primary focus of the firm will be business consulting and business-to-business development,” said Stewart, who will maintain his lobbying practice with American Capitol Group while also joining the Bennett Consulting Group.
Bennett was defeated for re-election at the state Republican convention by Mike Lee, who was elected to the Senate on Nov. 2. On Nov. 3, Bennett filed paperwork with the Senate declaring his intention to establish the consulting group. His recusal disclosure form indicated his plans to begin negotiations on a “to-be-formed limited liability company” with several former staffers.
Members of Congress are required to file recusal notices with the Secretary of the Senate when they begin negotiations for post-Congressional employment. The rules state that Members “shall not negotiate or make any arrangements for jobs involving lobbying activities until after their successor has been elected.”
Bennett will live in Washington and the group is planning to sublet office space in a building near the Capitol, Stewart said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.