The White House is hiring a veteran legislative hand as it prepares to deal with the new Republican Congress.

President Obama has brought on Martin Paone as deputy assistant for legislative affairs, plucking him from the Washington firm Prime Policy Group, where he has been lobbying as executive vice president.

He brings nearly three decades of Senate experience to the White House, having worked under four Democratic leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBiden fails to break GOP 'fever' Nevada governor signs law making state first presidential primary Infighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms MORE (D-Nev.).


“No one knows the Senate better than Marty, who started his career parking cars here and rose to be one of the most senior and widely-respected aides in the Senate,” Reid said in a statement Friday. “I have known Marty for decades and he knows this chamber through and through, on both sides of the aisle.”

Paone has a reputation as a Washington insider, burnished by his role as an adviser to the popular political drama, “House of Cards.”

On K Street, he has lobbied for several big-name clients, including Google, IBM, the National Restaurant Association, New York Life Insurance and Dunkin' Donuts. He has also pushed for construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline as a lobbyist for the In Situ Oil Sands Alliance.

The White House said Paone was granted a “limited waiver” from ethics rules that ban people from joining the administration who have lobbied in the two years prior to their appointment.
Paone is the 61st person to receive such a waiver.

“In each case, the waiver has been applied narrowly and all appointees have had to comply with all other government ethics rules,” the White House said.

He will work under Katie Fallon, who serves as head of the White House's legislative affairs office, while replacing Anne Wall, who is leaving the White House to work at the Treasury Department.

“Marty’s unmatched knowledge of Senate procedure, his wise counsel, and his solid relationships with senators on both sides of the political aisle have always been his trademark,” said Prime Policy Group Chairman Charlie Black. “The White House could have found no better person to assist with their policy priorities and negotiations with Congress during the last two years of the president’s term.”

Reid, who is being replaced by Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Manchin opens door to supporting scaled-down election reform bill Pelosi, Schumer must appoint new commissioners to the CARES Act oversight panel MORE (R-Ky.) as majority leader, predicted Paone will be an asset to the White House.

“Marty will be an enormous asset to President Obama in the coming years as a tough but fair and widely trusted negotiator,” Reid said.

Justin Sink contributed.

— This story was updated at 5:30 p.m.