Thomas to join AEI

Retired House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) has found his first new position since leaving Congress at the beginning of this year.

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) announced yesterday that Thomas will join the conservative think tank as a visiting fellow.

Thomas could also seek an additional post at another organization. According to the AEI's website, scholars are designated as "visiting" when they work only part-time or agree to a short-term engagement with the organization.

After he announced his retirement last year, Thomas repeatedly said he would not seek a position as a lobbyist.

Thomas earned a reputation as an expert on a wide array of tax, trade and healthcare issues during his 14 terms in the House and six years as chairman of the powerful Ways and Means panel. He was also widely regarded as a deft legislative strategist - and a lawmaker unafraid to ruffle his colleagues' feathers in the process of getting bills passed.