Politics

Former Reps. Mia Love, Luis Gutiérrez join CNN as commentators

Meanwhile, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lamar Smith head to K Street

Former Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, is now a CNN political commentator. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Reps. Mia Love and Luis Gutiérrez have wasted no time finding new gigs after leaving Congress last week.

Love, a Utah Republican and the only black female Republican in the last Congress, and Gutiérrez, a longtime Chicago-based Democrat, have joined CNN as political commentators.

Both have said previously that while serving in Congress was the honor of a lifetime, the constraints of the office kept them from focusing more intensely on their top policy objectives and from speaking their minds freely.

Gutiérrez revealed on a CNN panel Monday with Love that he will be working extensively with the National Partnership for New Americans, a top immigration and green card assistance group he collaborated with while in Congress.

“[I’ll be] going around, traveling the country, doing a lot of what I did without the restraints of having to show up in Congress and vote,” Gutiérrez said.

After two terms in the House serving Utah’s 4th District, Love has already aired some of her frustrations with her Republican Party and the overall political system.

“No restraints, a little untethered is what I say,” Love said Monday of the benefits of leaving Congress. “Unleashed, and being able to just go out and speak your mind and actually get things done by getting the American public involved.”

Gutiérrez announced in 2017 that he would retire after 13 consecutive terms. Love lost to Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams by less than 1,000 votes in one of the most bitterly fought House elections in the country in 2018.

Love and Gutiérrez sparred in their first segment as commentators over the ongoing government shutdown, which is on its 17th day, and national security adviser John Bolton’s apparent reversal of President Donald Trump’s announced withdrawal of U.S. troops in Syria.

Love and Gutiérrez  made the highest-profile debuts in new gigs Monday, but other members of the old 115th Congress aren’t sitting idle, either.

Former GOP Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Lamar Smith of Texas have joined the lobbying shop of Akin Gump, the group announced Monday in a press release.

Former Florida GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo has joined Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy as a distinguished visiting fellow.

Watch: ‘Down with NDP,’ dabbing in the House and the ‘club soda of beers’: Congressional Hits and Misses

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.