After 41 years on Capitol Hill, ex-Rep. David Obey is heading to K Street.
The senior Democrat from Wisconsin who announced last fall that he would not seek re-election is joining Gephardt Government Affairs, the 10-person lobbying outfit run by fellow Democrat Dick Gephardt. The two worked side by side for nearly three decades when Gephardt served as a Missouri Representative.
"I could not be more thrilled to welcome Dave to the firm. He's been a longtime friend and, as former Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, no one knows the federal government's funding process better than he does," Gephardt said in a statement. "I've long admired his ability to negotiate, problem-solve and develop legislative strategy: He will be an incredible asset to our team."
Obey's portfolio is expected to include health and education, energy, transportation, trade and defense, a familiar set of issues for the lawmaker who also served on the Budget Committee, Joint Economic Committee, Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations, as well as the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
Tom O'Donnell, the firm's managing partner, said the new gig serves as "the perfect bookend to Dave's experience."
"Dick's ability to bring different faces to the table and negotiate compromise — and Dave's ability to reach consensus across a broad spectrum of policy issues is unsurpassed. The two couldn't be a stronger match," O'Donnell said.
Since its inception four years ago, Gephardt Government Affairs' clients have included the Boeing Co., General Electric, Goldman Sachs, NBC, UnitedHealth Group and Visa.
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.