100 People to Watch This Fall

Welcome to The Hill’s Fall Watch List.

These are the 100 people you can’t ignore this fall if you’re wondering how events in Congress and the White House will play out.

Of the thousands of people working on legislation and regulation due this autumn, we’ve selected the lawmakers, staff, regulators and lobbyists who will be most active in seeking to advance or prevent provisions with a profound impact on the economy and American society.

We’ve divided the fall agenda into six areas: shutdown/debt ceiling, climate change, ObamaCare implementation, Dodd-Frank implementation, immigration and tax reform.

{mosads}Many of the 100 people named will be influential almost entirely in a single area, but there are others who will shape several areas, or even all of them. These people, such as President Obama and each party’s top leader in the House and Senate, have been excluded from the list, for otherwise they’d be in every category.

There are some people who will be highly influential in more than one category but not in all of them. In such cases, The Hill has placed people in the category where their influence can be expected to be most important. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), for example, is in the shutdown section of our list, although he’s also an important player in immigration. 

The same decision has been made about Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who wants to be at the center of fiscal negotiations but is also deeply involved in immigration, and Grover Norquist, who will be influential in both immigration and tax reform but is crucial in giving GOP lawmakers unofficial clearance on budgetary issues.

Tom Donohue, president of the Chamber of Commerce, is placed in the immigration category because the Chamber is so heavily and continuously involved in that debate, but he will also be at the center of the fiscal debate. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough is unlikely to be absent on any issue, but we have placed him in the shutdown section because of his role wooing centrist Republicans. Jon Carson, executive director of Organizing for Action, is in the climate change section, though he is also deeply involved in ObamaCare implementation.

The list is not and could not be exhaustive, but by using the methodology described here, we’ve made sure it isn’t exhausting, either. We hope it will be a handy reference for those who need to know who the key players are when Congress gets back after its August recess.

Click next to scroll through the list.


John Kerry Secretary of State

Kerry is the diplomatic hand guiding President Obama’s climate change efforts abroad.

He’ll be locked in on China and India; experts say that global warming will not decelerate fast enough if the U.S. acts alone.

Kerry already has helped to secure agreements on a series of climate issues with China, and he’s spoken about the matter in a trip to India. But many of the concessions won so far have been relatively low-hanging fruit. 

Green groups say Kerry’s negotiations with China and India would be for naught if his State Department recommends approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. The controversial Canada-to-Texas project is currently under review at Foggy Bottom for a federal permit to complete the northern portion, which stretches into Alberta.

The project’s opponents are leaning on Kerry, a vocal advocate on climate issues, to nix Keystone, which they say would devastate the climate. But Keystone proponents reject the gloom-and-doom projections and cite a draft environmental review by the State Department to prove it.

Obama said he would oppose Keystone if it “significantly exacerbates” carbon emissions. The draft review by the department has already said it wouldn’t — but that could change.

Because of that, all eyes are on Kerry.

Heather Zichal White House climate and energy adviser

Zichal has her hands full making the rounds as President Obama’s energy and climate liaison to Capitol Hill.  

She spent much of the summer coordinating the president’s agenda with Democrats in Congress, setting strategy on the front end for a long battle with Republicans over new rules intended to combat climate change.

She’s also taken on a high-profile role defending the president’s plans in public, a job that is sure to grow in importance as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to issue sweeping limits on greenhouse gas emissions. 

Zichal also brings an international perspective to her work, having served as a legislative director to Secretary of State John Kerry when he was in the Senate. Obama will need Zichal’s salesmanship and savvy on the international stage as he seeks to bring U.S. allies along for his second-term climate push.

Fred Hochberg Chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States

Hochberg isn’t someone you’ll see on the nightly news, but he’s a significant player in President Obama’s climate agenda.

As part of his plan, the president has said the U.S. would stop financing projects to build coal plants overseas — funding partly overseen by Hochberg and the Ex-Im bank.

Hochberg, a businessman who has also served as the acting chief of the Small Business Administration under former President Clinton, already appears to be taking a harder line. Soon after Hochberg was confirmed in July, the bank voted to block financing for a new Vietnamese coal plant.

With forthcoming U.S. regulations effectively blocking construction of new coal-fired power plants at home, much of the growth in coal-fired power is expected to occur abroad, especially in Asia.

Obama has stressed that the U.S. won’t be able to stop climate change enough if it goes it alone. If Hochberg’s Ex-Im Bank restricts coal plant financing to other nations, it would amount to a unilateral action with a global impact.

Todd Stern State Department special envoy for climate change

As the lead U.S. climate negotiator, Stern will be tasked with securing deliverable commitments from other nations heading into the United Nations talks scheduled for 2015.

Climate experts say time is of the essence. They say drastic action is needed fast to maintain a 2009 pledge to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the decade.

Stern will have some ammunition heading into those talks. President Obama’s climate focus could put the screws to China and India, which will need to cooperate in order for the White House to achieve any sort of measurable progress.

In seeking international cooperation, Stern and the White House have abandoned the quest for across-the-board emissions reductions that were sought in previous forums. Their new strategy provides more flexibility to other nations looking to reach emissions reduction goals.

Bill McKibben Founder of 350.org

McKibben, a literal and figurative outsider to Beltway politics, has made his presence felt in the climate change debate.

The Vermonter been at the vanguard of the environmental campaign against the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, taking a no-holds-barred approach that others have emulated.

In the process, McKibben and other activists have created a political dilemma for the White House by casting a single permit decision as decisive for President Obama’s climate legacy.

But while McKibben has helped vault the pipeline into political prominence, going forward it remains to be seen how the green movement can keep the pressure on the administration.

It’s also an open question whether McKibben will remain as much of a force when the Keystone fight is over.

350.org is leading efforts to get colleges and cities to divest from oil-and-coal companies. Whether that campaign catches fire could depend on McKibben and his ability to exert influence beyond the pipeline battle. 

Michael Bloomberg New York City mayor and billionaire activist

Bloomberg can generate headlines on climate change — lots of them.

At the peak of the 2012 White House race, he threw his weight behind President Obama’s reelection, citing climate change as a top reason in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. It was by far the high-water mark of climate change politics in the race.

The move was hardly Bloomberg’s first foray into climate policy and politics. In 2011, he announced a $50 million gift to the Sierra Club for its work against coal-fired power plants.

In recent months Bloomberg has made gun control his top priority as he fights for tougher restrictions in the wake of the Newtown massacre. With the end of his long tenure as mayor around the corner, it’s yet to be seen whether the deep-pocketed, quotable mayor will return his focus to climate and coal policy.

Christopher Horner Senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute

Horner, an attorney, conservative analyst and activist and political bomb-thrower, has drawn attention for recent lawsuits seeking more transparency from the Environmental Protection Agency. 

He has filed a series of lawsuits seeking internal communications from an agency he says has a troubling habit of doing business outside of public view.

Horner uncovered and has criticized the use of a secondary federal email account by former EPA chief Lisa Jackson, a practice also used by other department chiefs under both parties.

More broadly, Horner has become a thorn in the side of the EPA, and his allegations have made their way into committee hearings as Republicans tout his work and investigate his claims.

As the environmental agency moves forward with its climate agenda, look for Horner to provide kindling for opponents seeking to incinerate it.

Jack Gerard President of the American Petroleum Institute

A funny thing happened on the way to President Obama’s climate speech: The White House went kind of easy on the oil and gas industry. 

The White House climate plan is tough on coal but easier on petroleum, as earlier Environmental Protection Agency plans to impose carbon regulations on refineries have dropped off the map.

All of which puts Gerard, head of the oil lobby’s biggest and most powerful trade group, in an interesting spot. 

He must decide whether to join other groups — and a number of API’s Republican allies — in battling the agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases or focus his attention elsewhere.

And plenty of other climate battles await, notably the fight over the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. Obama says he won’t greenlight the API-backed project unless he’s sure it won’t “significantly” worsen carbon pollution. 

Gerard is playing point as the oil industry lobbies hard for the project, so how he deploys the group’s ample resources will be a critical issue to watch going forward.

Bill Becker Executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies

The Clean Air Act hands states a big role in carrying out its anti-pollution mandates, often putting them on the front lines of permitting and other actions.

So Becker, whose group represents state and local air quality officials, will have plenty to do as the Environmental Protection Agency presses ahead with crafting carbon emissions rules.

Obama administration officials have pledged, repeatedly, to have states at the table as the regulations are crafted, and Becker will face challenges in representing a broad array of interests in states with varying mixes of power sources.

Becker is in the administration’s corner.

“While states differ over whether the Clean Air Act should be used to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants, one thing is clear — these regulations will reap huge collateral benefits by also reducing emissions of other air pollutants, such as particle pollution and smog-forming emissions,” Becker said in a statement when President Obama laid out his climate plan in late June.

Becker said he appreciated the administration’s commitment to working with states in crafting the rules and carrying them out. But that journey is just starting, so Becker has his work cut out for him.

Ernest Moniz Energy secretary

It’s been a lovefest for Moniz so far: He sailed through the Senate with a 97-0 confirmation vote while winning praise from renewable energy advocates, natural gas interests and the nuclear power industry.  

But the goodwill for Moniz, a physicist and former undersecretary of Energy during the Clinton administration, might erode as he takes a leading role in Obama’s climate change offensive. 

He’s dealing with frustration from the coal industry, which contends the emissions regulations called for in President Obama’s climate agenda will kill their business.

Moniz has stressed that coal will be part of the nation’s power mix. His department is charged with handling the $8 billion in federal loan guarantees for advanced coal technology that Obama authorized in his climate plan.

Moniz is also fighting to maintain funding for national energy research laboratories and other clean-energy research and development programs that the administration holds dear.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) 

Whitehouse is one of the upper chamber’s most aggressive, outspoken advocates of taking strong steps to battle climate change.

His weekly floor speeches on the subject often jab at GOP skeptics, and he’s floated a draft carbon tax plan with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). 

Neither his proposal nor a separate bill imposing a tax or fee on carbon emissions sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has any hope of passage right now — but that’s really not the point. A big question going forward is how effectively these aggressive advocates of climate action can create political space for President Obama’s executive actions.

Republican lawmakers are attacking Obama’s plans and trying to make life difficult for him with policy riders in the House, critical letters to the administration and much more.

But Whitehouse and the other climate hawks — a term activists use to describe backers of aggressive action on emissions — are trying to play offense and make the case for steps like carbon limits on power plants. Time will tell if they can truly take flight and force Republicans to seek cover.

Jon Carson Executive director of Organizing for Action

The spinoff of President Obama’s reelection campaign is trying to up the pressure on Republicans when it comes to climate change.

OFA already has repeatedly slammed lawmakers in both parties for their views on the issue and has signaled its work will continue.

The nonprofit, which supports Obama’s policies but does not get involved in individual races, is expected to rally supporters in favor of policies that would push the government to take action on climate change.

Carson is a skilled strategist with experience in building an organization. He was a central player in securing campaign contributions from wealthy donors in both 2008 and 2012, and he is known for his attention to detail and ability to operate the machinery of a massive campaign.

Raising awareness among voters will be important, as the consequences of a GOP-controlled Senate could be dire for Obama’s climate agenda. A Republican Senate would give life to the steady stream of House bills that attempt to roll back pollution and drilling regulations.

Gina McCarthy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

McCarthy’s first big speech as EPA administrator in late July mentioned the threat of climate change early and often.

It’s not hard to see why. 

McCarthy is tasked with carrying out the most far-reaching and controversial piece of President Obama’s climate plan: imposing first-time carbon emissions standards on power plants, the single largest source of unregulated greenhouse gases.

The Massachusetts native — who draws laughs by theatrically drawing out the long Hs in her Boston accent — said several times in her maiden speech that tackling climate change won’t threaten the economy.

“For too long we were presented a false choice: between the health of our children and the health of our economy. The truth is cutting carbon pollution will spark business innovation, resulting in cleaner forms of American-made energy,” McCarthy said at Harvard Law School on July 30.

Industry groups and Republican lawmakers strongly disagree. McCarthy’s success in battling claims that climate rules eliminate jobs will be crucial if the White House plan is going to succeed.

But equally important, she’ll be working behind the scenes to craft rules that can withstand a barrage of legal attacks from coal industry groups and conservative state governors.

Howard Shelanski Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

Shelanski’s title is dry, but his part in climate policymaking is juicy. 

He’s the top White House regulatory official, which puts him in a pivotal spot as President Obama pushes far-reaching rules to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Shelanski, a former professor and senior official at the Federal Trade Commission, now runs the office that serves as the gatekeeper for regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Department and other agencies.

That means top lobbyists from big energy companies, green groups and elsewhere will be working to bend the office’s ear as administration officials shepherd through a climate plan that’s focused on regulation, not legislation.

The regulations agency has long been a place where planned rules go to languish for months, if not years, before final approval.

Shelanski will be trusted to keep the trains running on time while ensuring the emissions rules can withstand lawsuits, making him a crucial player in the high-stakes climate battles to come. 

Robert M. “Mike” Duncan CEO of American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity

Duncan is a Republican power broker who has served as chairman of both the Republican National Committee and American Crossroads. 

Now he’s on the front lines for the coal industry as it does battle against President Obama’s emissions rules for power plants.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity promotes advanced power plant technology designed to reduce the impact of emissions created by burning coal, though the upgrades remain pricey. 

Duncan’s organization worries that the looming Environmental Protection Agency regulations are coming too fast and would put utilities in the lose-lose position of either installing technology that will make them unprofitable or shutting down altogether.

The U.S. coal industry has been in a relative funk of late, largely because of plummeting natural-gas prices edging out coal use at power stations. The emissions rules only add to the industry’s challenges.

Duncan’s group is sounding the war cry of Republicans and coal-state Democrats that the rules for new and existing power plants would be too restrictive, effectively killing coal-fired generation in the United States. That, the rules’ opponents say, will lead to higher energy prices that hurt consumers and businesses. 

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) Ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

When it comes to climate change, Murkowski can be tough to pin down.

The Senate’s top Republican on energy matters breaks with many in her party by forthrightly acknowledging climate change and its impact on her state, providing evidence that there’s bipartisan interest in tackling global warming.

But on the other hand, Murkowski is a strong and consistent ally of the oil industry and no fan, to say the least, of regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency.

A couple of years ago she pushed — without success — a resolution to nullify the EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Thus far, Murkowski hasn’t revived that plan, even though the agency is now crafting its the far-reaching climate regulations in its history.

Murkowski’s reaction to the EPA’s efforts could influence the tenor of political battles over climate change this year and during the remainder of President Obama’s time in the White House.

This profile was updated at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Frances Beinecke President of the Natural Resources Defense Council

Could the NRDC become a de facto architect of the emissions rules for existing power plants? It’s not out of the realm of possibilities.

The organization crafted a widely circulated blueprint for regulating greenhouse gas pollution from power plants.

The NRDC power plant emissions study came out in March, before it was entirely certain that the Obama administration would move to regulate emissions from existing power plants.

Now that President Obama has made the move, many in Washington see the study as a likely model for what the administration will do.

The president has already made it clear that he values the organization’s input; he appointed Beinecke to an independent panel charged with reviewing the federal response to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Policy wonks have now had time to digest it. Beinecke, a frequent Capitol Hill visitor, has the attention of Democratic lawmakers as well.

Adele Morris Policy director for the Climate and Energy Economics Project at the Brookings Institution

Morris is among the people giving intellectual heft to the ad hoc, left-right coalition that’s keeping carbon tax proposals alive.

While the idea currently lacks anything resembling political traction, Morris and a loose collection of other advocates have kept the idea circulating in the political and climate policy bloodstream.

Can they go even further? Morris, who has written widely on the idea of taxing carbon emissions, sees a chance for carbon taxes to surface in tax reform.

She noted during an interview with The Hill in May that lawmakers would need new sources of revenue to offset the cost of lowering the corporate rate. A tax on carbon emissions, she suggested, could be just what reformers need to pay for an overhaul. 

Morris is hardly alone in seeking to keep carbon taxes in the mix in broader policy debates.  

Former South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis (R), who now heads an energy policy think tank at George Mason University, is barnstorming campuses and editorial boards to push a revenue-neutral plan that would tax emissions from fossil fuels while lowering personal rates.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee 

Climate legislation is dead in the Senate, but climate politics remains very much alive heading into the 2014 election cycle. 

And Republicans want to put heat on vulnerable Democrats in 2014.

In late June, as the president prepared to unveil his climate change plan that rests on executive actions, the NRSC pounced. A spokesman called it a “gift to the radical left” that will “effectively crush the economy in West Virginia, Kentucky, Alaska, Arkansas, and Louisiana — not to mention plenty of other states like Michigan.” 

“Whether or not Mark Begich, Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagan, [Michigan Senate candidate] Gary Peters or any candidates in these states support the initiative is irrelevant — the fact is that their embrace of the Obama agenda is hurting folks back in their home states,” spokesman Brad Dayspring said. “We intend to hold them fully accountable for their embrace of Obama.” 

With control of the Senate in the balance, Moran and the NRSC’s success or failure in turning President Obama’s plan into a liability for vulnerable Democrats will be something to watch.


Jamie Dimon Chairman, president and CEO of JPMorgan Chase

Jamie Dimon’s role as one of Wall Street’s most visible Dodd-Frank doubters has taken a hit in the last year.

Dimon, the head of the nation’s largest bank, became one of his industry’s most vocal critics of the law, challenging regulators about key provisions he said would shackle the industry and economy.

He took a hit last year after JPMorgan suffered embarrassing trading losses from a single trader known as the “London Whale” because of the size of his trades, and had to fend off a May shareholder effort to oust him as chairman of the board.

But Dimon’s appearances before congressional committees last year showed he still holds sway. Lawmakers expected to grill him over his company’s actions ended up praising him instead.

Many believe the trading losses damaged an industry push for weaker rules, particularly around the contentious “Volcker Rule.” That hotly contested rule would limit profit-seeking trades that banks pursue for their own profit (and not at the behest of clients), and would also isolate banks from riskier trading activities.

Dimon and others have pushed regulators to tread lightly on implementing the rule and give banks room to breathe, lest it stifle lending and the economy.

Mark Wetjen Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Wetjen is far from a household name, but he carries huge sway over how Dodd-Frank will look in its final form.

 A former top aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Wetjen was tapped by President Obama to join the derivatives regulator in 2011, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.

He now serves as the key swing vote on the five-member commission, which is balanced between Republicans looking for less stringent rules and Democrats, including Chairman Gary Gensler, who are looking to crack down on financial firms with tougher regulations.

Wetjen’s sway was evident in a recent battle over how to handle derivatives trading with an overseas component. Gensler pushed to require foreign branches with significant derivatives deals with U.S. banks be subject to U.S. rules, but Wetjen aired concerns about the timing of the rules and how far U.S. regulators should reach into other nations’ business.

With an agency deadline to establish the rules approaching, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ultimately struck a compromise, deferring to European regulators with similar rules and delaying enactment of the regulations.

Richard Cordray Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 

After a two-year blockade, Cordray was finally confirmed as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s director in July, ensuring he’ll have a huge say in how a crucial part of the Dodd-Frank law operates.

 Cordray’s confirmation means he can stay on the job for a full five-year term (he previously would have exhausted his stint at the end of 2013), and removes a massive legal cloud looming over the agency as his recess appointment had been subjected to a legal challenge.

With Cordray confirmed, the bureau will be able to keep a close eye on not only financial products offered by banks, but also those from nonbanks, like payday lenders, that had long avoided major regulatory oversight.

The former Ohio attorney general will be able to dive into his work building up the agency and bringing heightened regulations and oversight to a slew of financial products. But Cordray will remain squarely under the spotlight of business interests and Republicans, who continue to oppose his agency’s existence and argue it poses a heap of unwanted and unnecessary regulations on the nation’s economy.

Mary Jo White Chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission

President Obama highlighted White’s toughness when he picked the prominent white-collar defense attorney and former federal prosecutor to take over the SEC.

Noting her previous work prosecuting terrorists and mobsters, the president summed her up by saying, “You don’t want to mess with Mary Jo.”

On the job since April, White is bringing that toughness to the SEC. She set aside an SEC policy criticized by both parties that allowed financial players facing charges to settle them without admitting guilt, and the agency is now pursuing charges of insider trading against one of the nation’s biggest hedge funds, SAC Capital Advisors.

As head of the commission, White will play a central role in the continued implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. She’s sought to balance her tough-nosed approach with assurances to wary Republicans that the SEC is taking into account the costs of new regulations in writing rules.

And she’ll be juggling Dodd-Frank implementation with another GOP priority, implementing the JOBS Act to make it easier for small businesses to raise capital from investors.

Richard Hunt President and CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association

While many of the headlines around Dodd-Frank are tied to massive Wall Street banks engaging in rapid-fire complex trades, Hunt is tackling the law from the other end, where banks and consumers interact.

In that effort, he primarily faces off against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), meaning he will have his hands full as the bureau gets off and running.

The outspoken Louisianan has plenty of gripes about the CFPB, but nonetheless has offered kind words about the regulator, which he says is willing to at least hear out opposing arguments when writing up new rules.

A former staffer for ex-Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.), Hunt will be leading the industry charge as the CFPB continues to adopt a slew of new rules impacting the relationship between consumers and the financial industry.

Hunt and his industry cohorts will also be busy pressuring the Federal Reserve to not make deep cuts to debit card fees charged to retailers. The hotly contested matter of “swipe fees” started anew in July when a judge threw out the original price caps set by the Fed, saying they were higher than Congress intended.

Hunt has pushed the Fed to not go too low, as the retail industry pulls just as hard in the other direction.

Thomas Hoenig Vice Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Hoenig has been around the banking regulatory circle for some time.

Before becoming the FDIC’s vice chairman, he served as the president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank and was a voting member of the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee.

President Obama nominated him to join the banking regulator in 2012, and he has since played a key role in helping that regulator steer its way through its Dodd-Frank to-do list.

Hoenig has distinguished himself by emerging as a particularly tough critic of big banks and one of the loudest critics charging that “too big to fail” remains a major issue.

Beginning with an attention-grabbing speech in 2009, Hoenig has consistently backed efforts to break up big banks and bring more pressure to bear on Wall Street titans. He even has gone so far as to advocate for a return to Glass-Steagall, a financial firewall repealed in the late 1990s that separates investment and traditional banking.

Tim Pawlenty President and CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable

At first blush, Pawlenty doesn’t seem like the most likely candidate to head a leading Wall Street industry group.

 The former Minnesota governor and presidential candidate raised some eyebrows when he took over the group representing the biggest names in the financial industry in September, given his inexperience both in financial matters and Washington dealmaking.

Pawlenty has spent the subsequent months boning up on financial matters as he looks to bring his brand of “Minnesota nice” to an industry still doing damage control.

What Pawlenty may lack in technical know-how he makes up for in name recognition, and he gives the financial industry a big profile boost as they look to influence Dodd-Frank rule-making.

While Pawlenty never spent time roaming the halls of the Capitol as a lawmaker, he relishes his outsider role as a breath of fresh air for Wall Street’s Washington presence.

“They could go back to the old model, which is ‘Go get some Washington insider to run a trade association,’ but candidly, how was that working for them?” Pawlenty told The Hill in June.

John Strangfeld CEO of Prudential Financial

Strangfeld has not been the most visible critic of Dodd-Frank, and Prudential has lagged other financial bigwigs when it comes to visiting regulators and pushing for an easier implementation of the law.

 But Strangfeld’s company will play a central role in the reach of the financial reform law as it challenges a regulatory effort to bring it under harsher scrutiny as a “systemically important financial institution.”

The designation is an important power created by Dodd-Frank designed to give regulators the ability to subject the most connected firms in the financial system to heightened regulations and oversight.

While most big banks are automatically deemed systemically important, regulators also have the power to identify other firms they believe merit the label.

General Electric and AIG are both set to receive the label, and regulators would like to bring Prudential into the club as well. But the nation’s second largest life insurer announced in early July it would be appealing that move.

Strangfeld’s efforts to avoid the label will provide plenty of insight into how regulators plan to use this new power, and what firms may be subject to similar treatment.

Eugene Scalia Partner at Gibson Dunn

The son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is making a name in his own right by going to battle with financial regulators in the courtroom over Dodd-Frank.

 A partner at Gibson Dunn and former top attorney at the Labor Department under President George W. Bush, Scalia has regularly jousted with regulators on a host of issues.

He’s made a habit of challenging the rules written to implement the Wall Street reform law, to the point that The Nation called him the industry’s “secret weapon” in combating new rules.

Representing the business community, Scalia has filed several suits against regulators writing Dodd-Frank regulations. He charges they failed to adequately take into account the cost-benefit analyses of their impact. And he’s won several cases as well, beginning with a successful challenge to a Securities and Exchange Commission rule that would give shareholders more say over corporate directors.

As regulators continue to write rules implementing the comprehensive law, Scalia will continue to loom outside as a potential threat to them.

Rob Nichols President and CEO of the Financial Services Forum

Nichols is the voice in Washington for Wall Street executives.

As head of the Financial Services Forum, he represents the heads of the largest financial institutions in the world, making their case in the halls of Congress and the White House. 

Much of his work has now shifted from lawmakers writing Dodd-Frank to the regulators implementing it.

Formerly a top public affairs official in the Treasury Department under President George W. Bush, Nichols is well-versed in making his argument in public and in the press.

 He is also on the front lines of the battle to prevent additional regulations from being imposed on Wall Street firms. As members of both parties grumble about whether Dodd-Frank finished the job of fixing the financial market, Nichols will be a constant presence pushing back against further regulations.

Dennis Kelleher President and CEO of Better Markets

Wall Street has plenty of goliaths; Kelleher is their David.

Kelleher heads one of a handful of groups trying to push back against the concerted industry effort to water down Dodd-Frank.

As head of Better Markets, Kelleher has been a constant presence in the three years since Dodd-Frank was enacted, poking and prodding regulators to write tough rules, and lobbing fierce critiques at Wall Street whenever there is an opportunity.

He regularly testifies before Congress to make the case for tougher rules and looks to affect the sausage-making process just as well as banks but on the other side of the spectrum.

Kelleher and like-minded reformers are outgunned — reform groups have managed just a fraction of meetings with regulators compared to the industry. But as Congress continues to monitor implementation, Kelleher knows the landscape, having spent time as a top staffer in the Senate, working for former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.).

 The graduate of Harvard Law School also knows how to make an argument, having spent time as a litigation partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Daniel Tarullo Member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Tarullo is the man to watch on the Federal Reserve when it comes to Dodd-Frank’s implementation.

A former economic adviser under President Clinton and a campaign adviser to President Obama, Tarullo has become the Fed’s go-to voice on financial regulation matters since joining the central bank in 2009.

The former law professor regularly updates Congress on the Fed’s Dodd-Frank work, and has been a central voice as the central bank tackles complex matters like bank capital requirements and the Volcker Rule.

Fed governors regularly give speeches on a host of economic issues, and the Fed is much more well known for its control over the nation’s monetary policy levels than its status as a bank regulator. But Tarullo devotes most of his public appearances to financial regulation.

Lloyd Blankfein CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs

Blankfein’s bank is often a target for harsh Wall Street criticism, but Blankfein and his associates continue to put a heavy thumb on the scale when it comes to Dodd-Frank implementation.

Blankfein readily says he backs some portions of the financial overhaul, like enhanced capital standards. But he also is not shy to identify the areas he’s not so fond of, like the “Volcker Rule” that aims to curb risky trading by banks, as well as continued rumblings about the need to crack down on “too big to fail” institutions.

While Goldman, like the rest of Wall Street, is still struggling to regain its reputation since the financial crisis, Blankfein retains clout.

According to an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation, Goldman Sachs has held more than 200 meetings with regulators implementing the law — the most of any single group weighing in on its implementation, and five times the amount of the busiest pro-reform group.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) House Financial Services Committee chairman

Hensarling is no fan of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and he isn’t shy about saying so.

The Texas Republican took control of the House panel charged with overseeing Dodd-Frank in the 113th Congress and will have a central role in the law’s future.

Republican-led efforts to repeal portions of the law face a tough uphill climb in the Democratically controlled Senate (not to mention the Obama-led White House that has staunchly resisted changes to one of its landmark legislative achievements), but if any changes are coming for Dodd-Frank, they will have to go through Hensarling.

Even if Dodd-Frank remains intact to the letter, Hensarling’s status as the top House gadfly on the issue will be relevant.

His panel regularly grills the nation’s top financial regulators, who have a significant role to play in drawing up rules and regulations. Hensarling is bringing his concerns about the law to bear on that process, working to pull regulators to the right on implementation.

Camden Fine President and CEO of Independent Community Bankers of America

Fine heads the trade group representing small banks — an organization that carries big clout in Washington, especially when it comes to Dodd-Frank.

 A community banker himself, Fine has headed ICBA since 2004, a stretch when the organization played a central role in the very existence of the financial reform law. After winning concessions in the draft, ICBA broke with other banking groups that were loudly opposed to the law.

Fine is continuing to take the community bank message to Capitol Hill.

One of the few areas both parties agree on when it comes to Dodd-Frank is that the law was really aimed at Wall Street giants, not small neighborhood banks. Members from both parties have brought that message to regulators, and Fine makes that case himself.

He also is picking a fresh fight with big banks as a vocal critic of the law’s “too big to fail” rules. He wants further restrictions on the biggest in the business.

Mary Miller Under secretary for domestic finance at the Treasury Department

A former chief executive at the investment firm T. Rowe Price, Miller is now the Treasury Department’s primary voice on all matters in financial regulation, including Dodd-Frank.

While much of the work implementing the law has been farmed out to a slew of financial regulators, Miller’s take gives a look into the Obama administration’s perspective.

Her role recently grew in significance, as Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin, who had been the administration’s point person on Dodd-Frank, plans to leave the department at the end of August.

Miller has emerged as a stringent voice arguing that the problem of “too big to fail” firms and government bailouts is dead and buried thanks to Dodd-Frank.

As lawmakers on both sides of the aisle argue massive financial firms still pose a risk, Miller in April said that simply was not the case.

“A common use of the ‘too big to fail’ shorthand is the notion that the government will bail a company out if it is in danger of collapse because its failure would otherwise have too great a negative impact on the financial system or the broader economy. With respect to this understanding of ‘too big to fail,’ let me be very clear: It is wrong,” she said in remarks that got attention in Washington and on Wall Street.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

Warren has carved out an outsized profile in her first months in the Senate, living up to her reputation as a fierce Wall Street critic.

 She’s been closely involved with Dodd-Frank for years, first as a member of the panel tapped with overseeing bailout programs, and then as President Obama’s pick to build up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — an agency she was widely credited with coming up with in the first place.

Now a freshman senator with a seat on the Senate Banking Committee, Warren has pressed financial regulators on what they are doing to track down Wall Street wrongdoing.

There are signs her first few months have had an impact.

The SEC decided to bar settlements where Wall Street bad actors do not have to admit guilt after Warren embarrassed regulators in one of her first hearings, forcing them to admit they could not recall the last time they took a Wall Street bank to trial.

 Warren is also pushing legislation to further beef up financial restrictions on Wall Street, battling efforts to soften the Dodd-Frank law’s impact.

A strong fundraiser, some polls suggest Warren is among the country’s hottest politicians.

Gary Gensler Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Gensler has emerged as one of President Obama’s toughest financial regulators.

 The former Goldman Sachs partner is also the regulator with perhaps the biggest pile on his plate, as the CFTC is charged with implementing a huge amount of rules aimed at bringing the complex, opaque derivatives market under regulation for the first time.

A former Treasury official under President Clinton, Gensler saw his nomination held up by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) after Obama tapped him in 2009. The liberal Sanders criticized Gensler’s role in the deregulatory push of the late 1990s that many say sowed the seeds of the financial meltdown.

But Gensler has since emerged as a tough regulator, earning plaudits from those calling for tighter reins on Wall Street.

Gensler will be particularly worth watching in the coming months because he may be entering the end of his tenure.

His term technically expired in April, and he is continuing to serve in a holdover mode. Speculation abounds as to whether he will be back for a second term.


Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) House Judiciary Committee chairman

Now in his 11th term, the Virginia Republican took the gavel of the Judiciary Committee in January and has led the House GOP’s “step-by-step” approach to immigration reform. After numerous hearings, the panel passed four individual immigration bills on party-line votes that deal with border security, interior enforcement, the E-Verify system for employers and an agricultural guest-worker program. One or more of those bills could come to the House floor in September.

Goodlatte strongly opposes the Senate immigration bill, and while he insists he will not back a “special” pathway to citizenship, he has offered an alternative of sorts in recent weeks: He has said that he would be open to providing legal status to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States and that this classification would put them in line to gain citizenship through means already available.

The chairman is also working with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on legislation known as the Kids Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for immigrants who were brought illegally into the United States as children by their parents.

Democrats say Goodlatte has set a better tone on immigration in the Judiciary Committee than the panel’s previous chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). But they are skeptical that he shares their goal of ultimately producing a comprehensive overhaul that includes a path to citizenship for all of the immigrants.

Goodlatte has placed heavy emphasis on border security and interior enforcement, only recently beginning to address the question of illegal immigrants. When pushed on timing, he has repeatedly told reporters that he believes it is “more important to get it done right” than it is to get it done quickly.

Mark Krikorian Executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies

Krikorian has held his position at the small D.C.-based think tank since 1995 and is a leading opponent of comprehensive immigration bills that would, in his view, grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. A frequent presence on cable news, he has advocated for less legal immigration, arguing that more foreign workers mean fewer jobs for American citizens.

“America has outgrown mass immigration,” he told The Washington Post in June. He is considered the father of the concept that Mitt Romney described as “self-deportation” during the 2012 presidential campaign.

Krikorian has criticized the Senate immigration bill on policy and political terms. In particular, he opposes its provisions granting legal status before border security measures are fully implemented.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) Member of the Senate Gang of Eight

A Tea Party favorite in his first term, Rubio spent a significant amount of political capital trying to win conservative support for the Senate immigration bill he helped to write as a member of the Gang of Eight. Despite his efforts, many conservative activists opposed the bill and conservatives in the House trashed it to the point where the entire House Republican leadership issued a statement vowing not to bring it to a vote.

The criticism has hurt Rubio’s poll numbers with conservatives as he eyes a run for the presidency in 2016. Now that the immigration debate has shifted to the House, Rubio has — for the moment — moved on to other issues. Unlike the three other Republicans in the Senate Gang of Eight, Rubio has made little effort to pressure the House on immigration since pitching his bill to members of the conservative Republican Study Committee in June. “I’m not in a position to tell the House what they can or should do,” Rubio said then.

Yet if the House manages to pass its own version of reform, Rubio is sure to re-emerge as a central player when the two chambers try to negotiate a final bill. He should have a lock on securing a spot on the House-Senate conference committee, assuming he wants one.

Frank Sharry Founder and executive director of America’s Voice

If there’s a gathering of immigration advocates anywhere in Washington, chances are Sharry will be there. A veteran of the immigration wars for more than 20 years, Sharry founded America’s Voice in 2008 after leading the National Immigration Forum for 17 years. He recently told a roomful of young activists he was close to giving up the fight after Republicans took over the House in 2010 but that he was inspired by the energy of “Dreamers,” who won a big victory in 2012 when President Obama moved to halt deportations of immigrants who were brought illegally to the United States as children.

Sharry’s priority in immigration legislation is an “achievable” path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. He backed the Senate bill as a fair compromise, but liberals will likely look to him as a barometer for judging any final bill produced in a compromise with the GOP-led House. In his public rhetoric, Sharry has emphasized the political future of the Republican Party, arguing the GOP must back “inclusive” and “comprehensive” reform to have any chance at winning back the White House in 2016 and beyond. 

Bob Stallman President of the American Farm Bureau Federation

Few segments of the economy rely more on immigrant labor than the nation’s farms, and so it comes as no surprise that Stallman has been an influential player in this year’s immigration reform debate.

As president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Stallman has been a fierce advocate for a robust guest-worker program for low-skilled laborers such as those needed by the country’s growers. The farm lobby has long argued that the current guest-worker program is both insufficient and inefficient. Stallman was on the front lines of the push to streamline it.

So far he’s liked what he’s seen. When the Senate passed its reform proposal in June, Stallman endorsed the bill for its “fair and workable farm labor provision.”

Stallman also sits on the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, which makes recommendations to the administration about economic policies abroad. He has served on the panel since 2001.


George W. Bush and Jeb Bush Former president and former Florida governor

One of the enduring themes running through this year’s immigration debate has been the conflict pitting conservative Republicans on Capitol Hill who are opposed to comprehensive reform against national GOP leaders who support such changes for the sake of attracting more Hispanic voters to the party. 

Perhaps the most prominent members of the latter camp are former President George W. Bush and his brother Jeb, the former governor of Florida, who is eying a run at the White House in 2016.

As president, George W. Bush pushed a comprehensive reform bill in 2007, including a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. But Senate conservatives in his own party killed the bill.

While he’s been largely silent on political matters since he left the White House, Bush re-emerged in July to urge Congress to seek “a positive resolution” that keeps “a benevolent spirit in mind” toward the nation’s immigrants, a message widely interpreted to be a tacit endorsement of the Senate’s bipartisan bill.

Jeb Bush, meanwhile, has been all over the board when it comes to Washington’s approach to immigration reform. But this year, after penning a book that opposed a citizenship pathway as an “undeserving reward” for people who broke the law, he quickly reversed course to side squarely in favor of citizenship “if … there isn’t an incentive for people to come illegally.”

Last month, he spoke forcefully in support of the Senate bill, chastising House Republicans for “being the obstacle to immigration reform” and urging them “instead [to] point the way toward the solution.”

So far, GOP leaders on Capitol Hill have largely rejected the entreaties. It remains to be seen whether the national pressure has any greater influence as the debate evolves.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) Key opponent, member of the House Judiciary Committee

Advocates of immigration reform knew heading into the debate that King, a six-term conservative, would be the most vocal and ardent opponent of a path to citizenship in the House, and he has lived up to that billing. King has warned against bringing even the most conservative border security bill to the House floor out of fear that it would facilitate the creation of a conference committee — and an ultimate compromise — with the Senate. 

Known for his colorful arguments, King sparked an uproar in July when he depicted many immigrant children as criminal drug runners with “calves the size of cantaloupes.”

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other House GOP leaders denounced King for the remarks, but the Iowa Republican repeatedly defended his comments in opposition to a path to citizenship for immigrants brought into the United States illegally as children. “These are people who are trying to advance their agenda, and they’re trying to marginalize me in the process,” King said.

Liberal advocates have called for him to be removed from the Judiciary Committee, but Boehner has indicated he will not accede to those demands. Lawmakers and aides say privately there is little more they can do to keep him in line. 

While top Republicans have tried to distance themselves from King’s positions, Democrats say the party is more aligned with him than its leadership likes to admit. They point to a vote earlier this year when all but six House Republicans supported King’s amendment to block an Obama administration’s policy stopping deportations for some immigrants brought across the border as children. 

Janet Murguía President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza

As head of the largest Hispanic-rights conglomerate in the United States, the National Council of La Raza, Murguía has played an outsized role in the push for comprehensive immigration reform this Congress. In her role as the public face for the hundreds of community groups represented by La Raza, Murguía has testified at several hearings on Capitol Hill this year, written a regular immigration column for The Huffington Post and gathered crowds of thousands to keep pressure on Congress to get a sweeping reform bill over the finish line in 2013.

Much of her focus has been on ensuring that whatever Congress does keeps families together and protects the human rights of immigrants living in the United States, whether they are here legally or illegally.

“Fear, denigration, abuse: Those are words that resonate with our community, particularly when it comes to immigration,” Murguía said at a rally in New Orleans last month.

She has heaps of political experience to fall back upon. Murguía spent seven years on Capitol Hill as an aide to former Rep. Jim Slattery (D-Kan.) before moving into the Clinton White House, where she rose to become deputy assistant to the president. Afterward, she directed constituent outreach for Al Gore’s presidential campaign. She joined La Raza in 2005, where she’s been president and CEO ever since.

Roy Beck President of NumbersUSA 

Beck was a leading force in the successful push to defeat comprehensive immigration reform under President George W. Bush, and he has not let up as President Obama attempts a similar overhaul this year. 

The former journalist — Beck once headed the D.C. bureau for Booth Newspapers — founded NumbersUSA in 1997 out of concern that the inflow of immigrants, both legal and illegal, was damaging the environment, undermining free labor markets and generally eroding the quality of life in a United States he feels is already overpopulated.

“The idea that somehow or another we need more legal immigrants is kind of preposterous,” Beck told The Hill last year.

He has carried those concerns into the current reform debate, taking his hard-line stance to the cable news shows and Capitol Hill, where he has blasted even GOP leaders like Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) for what he considers a too-lenient stance on border policy.

Just before the August recess, Beck hosted a teleconference featuring some of Congress’s most vociferous critics of comprehensive immigration reform. The call was designed to rally the opposition.

Beck said his side has the easier task.  

“They’ve got to change representatives’ minds; we’re more in a situation of needing to hold people,”  he told USA Today. “It’s always better to try to hold people to a position.” 

Tom Donohue President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Donohue has served at the helm of the Chamber of Commerce since 1997, and the nation’s most powerful business group has long advocated for immigration reform. Donohue began talking about immigration reform principles with Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, and it was their agreement in March on a low-skilled guest-worker program that proved critical to the completion of the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill. 

The Chamber made a significant ad buy in June to urge conservative support of the Senate proposal, and it made support of the legislation a “key vote”  in its annual lawmaker ratings.

Advocates of immigration reform in both parties are looking to Donohue and the Chamber to pressure House Republicans to act, and some have suggested the business community needs to be more aggressive in pushing the issue during the August recess. House Republicans working on immigration reform do not support the guest-worker deals in the Senate bill, and Donohue could find himself in a tricky spot this fall if the House pushes legislation that does not abide by the agreement he reached with Trumka.

Rob Jesmer FWD.us campaign manager 

Jesmer is in a unique spot in the immigration debate. He is running a campaign in support of comprehensive immigration reform for a deep-pocketed group founded and funded by tech giants like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. Yet Jesmer, also a partner at a Republican consulting firm, previously served as executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and was a top aide to its then-chairman, Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), who is now the second-ranking Republican.

Cornyn is up for reelection in 2014 and emerged as a sharp critic of the immigration bill that passed the Senate, which FWD.us supported. He offered a border security amendment that backers of the bill believed was a “poison pill”  designed to kill it.

Jesmer’s role, and that of former NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh, has led to speculation that national Republican leaders like Cornyn and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) want immigration reform to happen even if they must oppose it to satisfy their own political bases. As the debate shifts to the House, it will be a closely-watched dynamic.

Cecilia Muñoz Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council 

Officially, Muñoz is the head of the White House Domestic Policy Council. But in a year when immigration policy has risen near the top of President Obama’s legislative wish list, she could very well go by another title: White House immigration-reform czar.

Born in Detroit to Bolivian-immigrant parents, Muñoz worked for decades as an immigrant-rights advocate with the National Council of La Raza before joining the White House in 2009. From that platform, the former activist was put in the uncomfortable position of defending Obama’s immigration policies even as the administration cracked down on illegal residents and spiked deportations — but did not prioritize comprehensive reform — through the president’s first term.

Since November’s elections, however, the dynamics surrounding immigration reform have changed drastically. Muñoz has been a whirlwind working to see that the rare political opening is not lost.

Behind the scenes, Muñoz has helped to catalyze delicate deals between a host of strange bedfellows — business and labor, agriculture and technology, farms and farmhands — that led to a bipartisan deal on the Senate’s comprehensive reform bill.

In the public eye, meanwhile, she’s testified before Congress and made the rounds on both the English- and Spanish-speaking media circuit, all for the purpose of getting a bill to her boss’s desk.

Given the political environment on Capitol Hill, Muñoz has her work cut out for her. But if immigration reform is enacted this Congress, few would dispute that it had much to do with her.

Arturo Rodriguez President of the United Farm Workers 

When the Senate passed its immigration reform bill in June, Rodriguez was quick to claim victory. Not only had the president of the United Farm Workers (UFW) secured a special path to legalization for those illegal immigrants tending the nation’s fields, but he also won new wage guarantees, housing protections and family unification provisions his group had been lobbying for.

The veteran farm labor organizer has different feelings, however, about the legislation moving through the House, where GOP leaders are pushing a temporary guest-worker bill that excludes the separate legalization pathway and many of the worker protections in the Senate version. The UFW says the Republicans’ proposal promotes a “draconian,”  “servants-only”  guest-worker program. 

Rodriquez has plenty of experience to draw upon, having spent the last two decades at the helm of the UFW. 

The San Antonio native took the spot following the death of the group’s legendary founder, Cesar Chavez, in 1993.

Brad Smith Executive vice president of Legal and Corporate Affairs for Microsoft

America’s top technology companies have been on the front lines of the immigration reform debate since the very start, urging Congress to allow more high-skilled workers into the United States. Amid that debate, few voices have been more prominent than that of Smith, Microsoft’s top lawyer.

A 20-year veteran with the company, Smith has long warned that a failure to reform the H1-B visa system would mean tech companies would be unable to fill a glut of open positions, sacrificing jobs at home and sending the talents of failed applicants to competing countries. 

The issue of high-skilled visas has often put the tech companies at odds with labor leaders, who say a spike in foreign workers would depress wages and displace American labor as the nation’s unemployment rate hovers above 7 percent. 

It is an argument the technology sector rejects, and in June, Smith was on Capitol Hill promoting more H1-B visas as a benefit for everyone.

“If done right, attracting the talents of the best and brightest from other countries can help, rather than hurt, prospects for American workers because in an innovation economy, jobs often beget jobs,” Smith told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He must have been convincing: One liberal economist called the Senate bill “a landslide”  in favor of the tech industry, including an increase in H1-B visas.

The National Law Journal recently named Smith to its list of the 100 most influential lawyers in the country.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) Member of the House Gang of Seven and Judiciary Committee

No one in Congress has worked harder for comprehensive immigration reform over the last decade than Gutierrez. The Illinois Democrat has made the issue his primary focus on Capitol Hill and, in 2010, passed up a run for Chicago mayor in order to continue the congressional fight to overhaul the nation’s broken immigration system.  

“I have unfinished business to complete,” he said at the time. 

In the wake of the Democrats’ successes at the polls in 2012, Gutierrez saw a rare opening to get a comprehensive bill over the finish line, and he’s been scrambling ever since to make sure the chance does not pass him by.

Toward that end, Gutiérrez this year traded his senior position on the powerful Financial Services Committee for a seat on the Judiciary panel, a move he made solely to have more influence over the immigration reform debate. He has also adopted a punishing travel schedule to appear with colleagues on both sides of the aisle in an effort to build broad support for comprehensive reform.

Closer to Washington, Gutierrez has been a driving force behind the bipartisan House group that has been working on a comprehensive reform bill for four years. Those negotiators have yet to release their alternative to the Senate package, but some, including Gutierrez, still view it as the best way to get a proposal to the president’s desk.

Amid the negotiations, there has been some murmuring from liberal circles that Gutierrez has been too willing to compromise for the sake of a deal. But the Chicago native has warned repeatedly that compromise is the only path to success.

“If we have a partisan point of view, you can’t pass comprehensive immigration reform,” he said recently.

Richard Trumka President of the AFL-CIO

As the face of organized labor in the United States, Trumka’s support for the Senate’s bipartisan immigration-reform deal was crucial to securing passage of the proposal in June. The president of the AFL-CIO joined forces with his frequent adversary, Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to craft intricate guest-worker provisions that both sides could support. In doing so, the two men greased the skids for the Senate’s 68-32 vote in favor.

The tougher fight for Trumka looms in the House, where conservative Republicans — critical of the Senate bill — are moving legislation that excludes both a citizenship pathway for illegal immigrants and many of the wage, housing and whistle-blower protections granted to workers in the upper chamber’s proposal. The exclusions are all anathema to labor leaders.

Indeed, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker was among the immigrant-rights advocates arrested on Aug. 1 after blocking traffic outside the Capitol in protest of the House GOP’s immigration strategy.

Trumka has also been a vocal advocate for extending federal healthcare benefits to illegal immigrants, a provision that would almost certainly be dead on arrival in the House.

A native of southwestern Pennsylvania’s mining country, Trumka has headed the AFL-CIO since 2009 after 15 years as the group’s secretary-treasurer.


David Simas Deputy senior adviser at the White House

Simas knows data, and that’s exactly what the White House needs as it tries to reach the young, healthy consumers so important to making ObamaCare work.

From his West Wing office, Simas oversees an effort to reach the uninsured — particularly young men. As the administration works with its outside partners to encourage people to enroll in new coverage options, Simas’s data will be necessary to reaching the right audience.

The White House is hoping that roughly 7 million people will enroll in the program’s first year and wants about 2.5 million of those to be young people. Based on Simas’s data, the administration has said it knows exactly where to start: More than two-thirds of its target population lives in California, Florida or Texas, and Simas has the demographics mapped out down to specific census tracts.

That kind of information will be critical to promoting enrollment in states (like Texas) that aren’t going to lend a hand. The Obama administration is looking for partnerships with local and county governments and community organizations, and hoping to get mothers to pressure their children into getting health insurance. All of that requires detailed knowledge of who and where the uninsured are.

“It’s all about designing outreach,” Simas recently told The New York Times. “It’s getting people to the front door.”

Michael Ramlet  Founder of The Morning Consult, a healthcare news site, and principal at Purple Strategies

It’s rare that a new journalism aggregator can break through the noise in Washington, D.C., but that’s what Ramlet has done with The Morning Consult, a daily briefing site on healthcare and public policy news. 
Ramlet first established himself as the director of health policy at the conservative American Action Forum, which is led by former Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Holtz-Eakin. At American Action, Ramlet provided analyses of ObamaCare’s impact on the healthcare system and the wider economy. Now, he runs the policy consulting practice at Purple Strategies. 
The Morning Consult is also a source for polling data on ObamaCare. A recent survey found that most people think healthcare costs are a greater problem than the number of uninsured and that just 35 percent support the healthcare law. 
“You can analyze the data in these polls; however, it is very difficult to make projections about 2014 after more of the Affordable Care Act is implemented,” Ramlet recently told The Heartland Institute. 
“Ultimately, many people will not understand how ObamaCare will influence them until it has already affected their finances or lifestyles. People are going to find out when they can see it and feel it.” 

Jon Kingsdale Former executive director of the Massachusetts Health Connector
Kingsdale played a major role in launching healthcare reform in Massachusetts —the law that inspired ObamaCare — as the founding executive director of the state’s insurance marketplace. 
Now he’s leading Wakely Consulting Group, advising other states as they implement their exchanges and providing actuarial analyses related to the law. 
As head of the Massachusetts Health Connector, Kingsdale was part of a partnership with the Boston Red Sox to promote the new health coverage options to the uninsured. He’s frequently quoted about efforts to promote ObamaCare along the same lines. 
“So much of what we are reading about these days is part of the … back-and-forth of ‘it’s a disaster’ or ‘it’s really going to be nirvana for consumers,’ ” Kingsdale recently told Reuters. 
“For consumers, the real helpful information is going to come in October when they can get on the exchange and look at the full comparisons.” 

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)

This first-term senator is pushing the Republican Party to take a stand against funding for ObamaCare.
Lee’s profile has risen sharply since he started rallying Republican lawmakers behind the strategy of opposing any government funding bill that contains money for the healthcare law. Because the current funding bill expires at the end of September, Lee and his peers’ blanket opposition to most funding measures could prompt a stalemate that shuts down the government, an outcome they would blame on President Obama. 
Lee and his supporters see the government funding fight as the last, best chance to defeat ObamaCare, because many of the benefits from the law will take effect on Jan. 1.
“Only in Washington is Obama-Care controversial,” Lee recently wrote in USA Today. “Outside the Beltway it is despised. … The only responsible choice now is to protect the country from Obama-Care’s looming disaster.” 
Lee, a constitutional lawyer and Tea Party affiliate, was elected in 2010 after defeating Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah). He is a member of the Armed Services, Energy and Natural Resources, and Judiciary committees.

Gary Cohen Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) at the Health and Human Services Department
If any one person could be the face of Obama-Care implementation, it would be Cohen.
The office he oversees is charged with implementing almost all of the healthcare law’s major provisions, including the new insurance exchanges that need to integrate seamlessly with a host of other federal agencies. 
Cohen and his staff are running tests on the massive data hub that will power the insurance exchanges when they launch Oct. 1. The goal is to have a workable interface up and running without major glitches that would keep people out of the insurance market (and embolden Republican critics of the law).
There’s also a major customer service component. Cohen’s office is in charge of working with external call centers to help people who don’t want to enroll online, as well as selecting “navigators” to help people make sense of their new coverage options.
Cohen is also the administration’s point man on a host of other implementation activities, including negotiating with insurers and certifying that they meet the standards to sell their products through the exchanges. The CCIIO also reviews double-digit premium increases across the country to make sure they’re reasonable and enforces new rules that require insurers to spend at least 80 percent of their premiums on medical care. 
All eyes are on Cohen as Washington waits to see whether HHS can pull off a logistical feat as big and complex as the exchanges on time and under a tight budget.

Michael Cannon Director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute
Think the Supreme Court has settled the question of ObamaCare’s legality? Not if Cannon has anything to say about it.
Cannon is a tireless advocate for the argument that the IRS has illegally implemented the healthcare law’s insurance subsidies, which will help low-income households cover the cost of their premiums. 
His argument is that healthcare law, as written, does not allow for the subsidies to be used in healthcare marketplaces that are set up by the federal government.
He helped the state of Oklahoma file a lawsuit against the subsidies, and a group of small businesses filed a separate suit on the same grounds, in case Cannon’s runs into procedural roadblocks.
If the lawsuits Cannon has spearheaded are successful, they could have a devastating impact on the healthcare law. A final decision in favor would stop the flow of tax subsidies to people in more than half of the states, making ObamaCare far less attractive to consumers and stripping away much of the law’s promise of affordability.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) 
Coburn may be the best Republican lawmaker to challenge the ObamaCare defunding movement. The second-term Oklahoma senator has sterling credentials on the right but has strongly criticized Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and others who are prepared to force a government shutdown in order to kill the law. He says the strategy won’t work and could become a public relations nightmare for Republicans if the government stops running.
Coburn has also accused the senators and their supporters of bullying those who disagree. 
In these criticisms, he joins a growing group of Republicans concerned about the party’s standing if the shutdown threat becomes reality in September. GOP strategist Karl Rove, columnist Charles Krauthammer and several establishment GOP senators have voiced similar worries. 
The conflict will come to a head after the August recess. In the meantime, Coburn, who witnessed the 1995 and 1996 government shutdowns, is unequivocal in his opposition. 
“The strategy that has been laid out is a good way for Republicans to lose the House,” he recently told The Washington Examiner. 

Debbie Curtis
Deputy policy director for the District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange Authority
Curtis is well-known to many on Capitol Hill for her work on the Democratic staff of the House Ways and Means Committee and as a chief of staff to former Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), once the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Health subcommittee. She also lobbied for Consumer Action, a consumer advocacy group, during debate over the Clinton healthcare plan.
Now, Curtis is working to help the District of Columbia set up its new health insurance marketplace. 
The exchange is notable because it’s where D.C.-based congressional aides will be required to purchase coverage. The District’s small businesses will also be required to purchase their employee health insurance through the marketplace starting in 2015, which is a source of controversy in the city.

Peter Lee Executive director of the California Health Benefit Exchange
Lee was recruited in 2011 to run California’s insurance exchange, a marketplace that is crucial to fulfilling ObamaCare’s mission of providing healthcare to the uninsured. 
He has close ties to the Obama administration, formerly serving as deputy director for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and his active approach to running the exchange is expected to serve as a model for other blue-state officials. 
As many as 5 million people could sign up for Covered California, making it ObamaCare’s largest new insurance marketplace. In an interview in May, Lee called public education efforts the biggest challenge in launching the exchange. 
“Educating the masses is going to be a gigantic task,” Lee told 89.3 KPCC in Southern California. 
“About two-thirds of those who make less than $40,000 a year — those are predominantly the people who will be helped by this law, and they really don’t know enough about it to understand how it’s going to help them,” he said. 
“The secondary task is letting the young ‘invincibles,’ the 19- to 34-year-olds, know that they’re super important to the risk pool. Getting them to buy into this program and to buy insurance will be key to keeping it.”

Timothy Jost Professor of law at Washington and Lee University School of Law
To healthcare policy experts, Jost needs no introduction. 
The veteran law professor has become a nationally recognized expert on the healthcare law in the three years since its passage, and his analysis has become a fixture in coverage of the law.
In Washington’s healthcare circles, Jost’s blog posts for the journal Health Affairs are considered must-reads for their clarity and up-to-the-minute analysis. 
Jost also serves as a consumer liaison to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and is an alumnus of the University of California, 
Santa Cruz and the University of Chicago Law School. 
 “The guy is just an astonishing resource,” said one pro-ObamaCare activist in Washington. “His knowledge is encyclopedic.” 

Dean Clancy Vice president of healthcare policy at FreedomWorks
In the days after President Obama’s reelection, Clancy was among the group of conservative activists lamenting the survival of ObamaCare. 
But now as the White House steps up its outreach effort, Clancy and FreedomWorks are at the forefront of an anti-
enrollment campaign designed to prevent the law from ever getting off the ground. 
FreedomWorks’s latest venture compares ObamaCare to the Vietnam War. The group is printing up “ObamaCare cards” and urging young people to burn them as a form of protest against the healthcare law’s individual mandate to have insurance.
The counteroffensive from groups like FreedomWorks targets the people the White House needs most: young, healthy people who don’t have insurance. Bringing those consumers into the system is necessary to mitigate premium increases, so convincing them to remain uninsured could cause major headaches for ObamaCare.
FreedomWorks is also pressuring lawmakers to consider shutting down the federal government over ObamaCare funding. 
It’s a difficult sell with GOP leadership, but FreedomWorks will be a big player as conservatives try to push leaders and incumbents further right — or threaten them with primary election challengers.

Anne Filipic Enroll America president
Filipic is the chief saleswoman for the ObamaCare brand.
As the head of Enroll America, a nonprofit group with close ties to the Obama administration, she is leading a multimillion-dollar campaign urging people without insurance to sign up for the new exchanges. 
There is a lot riding on her work, which will include sending volunteers door-to-door to talk about the healthcare law. The administration hopes to enroll millions of uninsured, including a large number of young and healthy people, before the middle of next year. Opponents of the healthcare law are working to discourage people from signing up. 
A veteran of the Health and Human Services Department, the Obama campaign and the White House, Filipic mostly recently worked as deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement. She sees her campaign experience as vital to leading Enroll America. 
“What I envision first is a lot of data and analytics, using a lot of the micro-targeting that has taken off in recent years,” she told The Washington Post earlier this year. “There’s some potential to do what electoral campaigns do: Find people who wouldn’t be motivated to take action and inspire them in a way that they do.”

Anton Gunn Director of external affairs for the Health and Human Services Department
Gunn is leading the Health Department’s outreach to stakeholders as Obama-Care is implemented, but he also has a personal goal for enactment: to decrease the rate of uninsured blacks in South Carolina to less than 15 percent. 
A former member of the South Carolina House, Gunn is responsible for maintaining relationships between the Obama administration and powerful healthcare interest groups, many of which have become restless as the law is challenged. 
Gunn made news in January when he announced an important change in the language used to describe the health law’s components. He announced that the administration would stop using the word “exchanges” and refer instead to “marketplaces” because that term translates better into Spanish. 
“We know that 12 million of the people eligible [for the law’s benefits] speak Spanish, and 1 million more speak a language other than English or Spanish. These are the people we need to reach,” he told an advocacy conference.

Andy Allison Arkansas Medicaid director
Allison has been called a visionary for his role in a proposal to use funding from ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion to finance the purchase of private coverage for low-income people on the state’s insurance exchange. 
The plan, which has been approved by both federal health officials and the Arkansas Legislature, is seen as a possible red-state alternative to the Medicaid expansion and is expected to lower premium costs. At least five other states have considered a similar program.
Allison has received praise for moving the Arkansas Medicaid program away from fee-for-service payments and toward a model that rewards quality and efficiency. 
He formerly served as head of Medicaid in Kansas and started his work in the field as a Medicaid analyst at the Office of Management and Budget.

Teresa Miller
 Acting director of the Insurance Programs Group in the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) at the Health and Human Services Department
Oregon’s former top insurance regulator joined the Health and Human Services Department in 2011 to work with state governments on the new exchanges. 
As director of oversight at the federal Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, Miller will be policing ObamaCare’s market reforms in more than 10 states starting next year.
She’s also worked on the law’s medical-loss ratio, which mandates that insurance companies issue rebates to consumers when they don’t spend at least 80 percent of patient premiums on medical care. 
The provision has been the cornerstone of the Obama administration’s attempt to sell the law to the public over the last three years. 
Announcements several times a year have marked the new savings figures.  According to the White House, 8.5 million policyholders received an average of $100 in rebates last year. Total consumer savings are in the billions, officials say.


Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) Chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee

In her first year leading the Senate’s Budget Committee, Murray passed her caucus’s first budget in four years. 

Often underestimated, Murray is trusted by her party’s leaders, who repeatedly have turned to her for help, from leading the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) in the last election cycle to serving as co-chairwoman of the budget supercommittee in 2011. 

As head of the DSCC, she saw her party gain seats in the 2012 election even though it was defending more seats than Republicans.  

By passing a budget this year, Murray turned the tables on the GOP, which had made the Senate Democrats’ failure to pass a budget a regular talking point. Now Democrats are playing offense, as Murray regularly goes to the floor to ask the House to consent to form a conference committee on the budget.  

The GOP’s refusal to do so bolsters Democrats, who are able to portray Republicans as intransigent and their own party as being willing to deal. 

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee

Rogers has emerged as the most prominent GOP critic of the cuts to domestic discretionary spending in Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget. 

The spending panel chairman offered blistering criticism last month of his party’s leadership after they pulled a Transportation and Housing spending bill from the floor. GOP leaders said they pulled the bill for scheduling reasons. Rogers, who has struggled in crafting bills that deeply cut agency budgets, argued it lacked GOP support. 

Rogers said the failure to move forward shows the House needs to abandon the Ryan spending levels it endorsed in the budget. 

Rogers and most of the GOP appropriators he leads have shown some reluctance in drafting bills that reflect Ryan’s deep cuts.  

Before 2010, he prided himself on bringing government spending to his impoverished Appalachian district.  

Since then, the Appropriations Committee has led the GOP in imposing the deepest cuts to government spending in the last half century. 

The outburst over the Transportation bill shows Rogers intends to make a major push to cut entitlement spending in order to take pressure off the discretionary budget. 

If that effort fails, Rogers will have to cobble together some kind of continuing resolution deal, much like he did for 2013 appropriations bills that reflected the first round of cuts under sequestration.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) Ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee

Shelby is deeply conservative, but has the disposition of a natural deal-maker. 

Elected as a Democrat to the Senate in 1986, Shelby turned Republican after that party took over the House in 1994.  

He fits in well with the GOP on fiscal issues — Shelby was one of only eight senators to vote against the fiscal-cliff deal that raised tax rates on families with annual incomes above $450,000 per year.  

He’s a proponent of military and space spending in Alabama and has shown a willingness to back party leaders in opposing appropriations bills that ignore spending levels set by the 2011 Budget Control Act, which triggered the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration. 

Shelby’s votes against the spending bills pushed by Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) were a sign of solidarity with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).  

But Shelby ultimately stood by while many Republicans on his panel voted for spending bills they helped craft.  

These maneuverings should help Shelby preserve some negotiating ability as the details of a final spending package for 2014 come together.  

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Chairman of the House Budget Committee

Ryan is the intellectual architect of the House GOP’s approach to cutting the deficit and has helped move the issue to the center of the party’s agenda. Aside from President Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), no one has more riding on the outcome of the fall fiscal drama. 

Ryan’s 2014 budget, which deeply cuts social programs but increases defense spending and includes no tax hikes, will guide the party’s approach to debates on funding the government and raising the debt ceiling.  

Ryan’s budget cuts spending deeply, but he has shown a willingness to compromise. 

Just months after the 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate saw his ticket defeated by Obama, he backed the “fiscal cliff” deal even though it raised tax rates on upper-income households.  

His vote for the measure, which prevented tax rates on most households from rising, gave cover for 85 Republicans to support it. In early August, Ryan again sided with leadership against the GOP right wing when he said the party should not threaten to shut down the government unless it can completely stop ObamaCare.  

Ryan’s future as a party leader is bright: At just 43 years old, he’s a potential 2016 presidential candidate, but could also turn his eyes toward leading the House Ways and Means Committee. Some believe he could be a future Speaker. 

He’s sought to work with Democrats on immigration reform and recognizes that the only way to reform entitlements while Obama is in office is to strike a bargain. 

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee

Mikulski spent 25 years climbing the ladder of power in the Senate before getting her first full committee chairmanship this year. 

Unfortunately for Mikulski, the chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee isn’t what it used to be. 

Already deprived of the use of earmarks that can be used to win support from individual senators, Mikulski has been forced to keep the government running using continuing resolutions that prevent her panel from changing spending details much at all. 

The down-to-earth chairwoman is a former social worker and a fierce defender of domestic agency spending, but she is also a pragmatist. 

She showed her negotiating abilities in crafting a continuing resolution in March 2013 that kept the government funded and prevented what both parties agreed were the unintended effects of $80 billion in automatic spending cuts triggered by the sequester. The continuing resolution contained the text of five of the 12 annual spending bills

Working with Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Mikulski pursued a strategy of moving all 12 annual appropriations bills through committee before the August recess at the top-line spending level of $1.058 trillion in Murray’s budget. 

Most of the bills got at least some Republican support in committee, providing evidence of Republican willingness to compromise.

The plan faced a setback, however, when it failed to proceed on the floor after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fought hard to win GOP opposition against the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development spending bill. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was the lone GOP supporter of the bill, though 19 Republican had shown at least some level of support for moving forward. 

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) 

McCain and other Senate GOP centrists hold the keys to a deficit grand bargain — and President Obama knows it.   

McCain has reveled in his “maverick” reputation this year, working with Democrats to forge deals on immigration reform and administration nominations that avoided use of the “nuclear option” on the filibuster.  

The deals mean McCain is the natural choice for the White House when it looks for a GOP negotiator, though it has caused him some chiding from conservatives. 

The 2008 GOP presidential candidate also has a number of senators who will side with him, most notably Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), his closest ally. 

White House staff have met almost daily with McCain in search of either a $2 trillion deficit-reduction deal that would include entitlement reforms and tax hikes, or a smaller deal that would end the sequester and replace the automatic spending cuts with entitlement reforms. 

A defense hawk, McCain is invested in ending the $52 billion in automatic cuts to the Pentagon looming in the next fiscal year. He has no patience for GOP lawmakers who want to force a government shutdown over defunding ObamaCare. 

The challenge for McCain will be in striking a deal that has enough conservative credibility to get through the House. 

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) Ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee

Lowey is a close friend of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and serves as the Democratic leader’s eyes and ears in the secretive world of appropriations. 

Wildly popular in her caucus and with appropriators in both parties, Lowey beat out Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), who had more seniority, to become the top Democrat on the spending panel. The panel’s chairman, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), differs with her liberal viewpoint but regards her as a friend. 

The New York congresswoman’s gift for behind-the-scenes negotiating will be tested as she battles to win the public fight over the sequester.  

Lowey’s argument is that the GOP needs to moderate its approach to budget cutting and realize it needs to rely on Democratic votes to avoid a shutdown. 

Her combat skills were proven in January, when she led the fight to secure tens of billions in aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy after conservatives tried to use the bill to enact cuts to other agency budgets. 

Sylvia Mathews Burwell White House Budget Director

President Obama’s budget director was confirmed in a 96-0 vote, highlighting the goodwill she enjoys as she enters what could be a bruising fall.  

A congenial West Virginian, Burwell earned respect from both parties for being a part of the Clinton White House team that balanced the budget. After working for Clinton, Burwell served as the president of the Wal-Mart Foundation and worked as at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Burwell got off to a good start as Obama’s budget director by winning plaudits for turning in on time the usually delayed mid-session review — even after Obama’s 2014 budget was delivered to Congress more than two months late. 

In June and July, she joined White House chief of staff Denis McDonough in secret debt talks with Senate GOP centrists. The hope is that the talks could at least lead to a deal to replace some of the automatic cuts under sequestration with other cuts to mandatory spending and entitlements. 

Charles Kieffer Staff director for the Senate Appropriations Committee

Kieffer, who took over as staff director for the Senate Appropriations Committee this year, had decades of experience working on the federal budget and has seen the battles from several different sides.

After graduating from American University in 1978, he worked as a budget analyst at the Health and Human Services Department before working at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a decade and a half.  

He worked as a special assistant to the OMB director during the Reagan and early Bush years, and later became the chief of appropriations analysis throughout the 1990s. He was the associate acting director for legislative affairs from 1995 to 2000.  

After coming to the Senate, he worked as a staff director of the Appropriations Homeland Security subcommittee, where he worked closely with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.). 

Since assuming his new role as full committee staff director in January, Kieffer has had to cobble together an emergency stopgap continuing resolution deal. 

That “hybrid” resolution allowed appropriators to pass five of their 2013 bills — Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Commerce, Justice and Science, and Agriculture — but left the other seven without updated spending instructions. 

After the Senate passed its first budget in four years, Kieffer helped Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) pursue a strategy of marking up bills that ignore sequestration for 2014.  

The higher spending bills divided the Senate GOP in committee, which Democrats hope will help them craft a deal that reverses at least a portion of the automatic cuts scheduled for 2014. 

Denis McDonough White House chief of staff

McDonough is the point person for the White House in deficit talks with Senate GOP centrists.  

A former Senate aide, he is broadly popular with both parties — in stark contrast to past Obama chiefs of staff Rahm Emanuel and Bill Daley.  

As deputy national security adviser, he became a close contact point for Senate national security hawks like Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). 

“I always enjoy talking to Denis,” Graham said after emerging from a July 31 meeting.  

McDonough faces a difficult challenge in winning a budget deal, however.  

Team Obama felt burned by failed grand bargain talks with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in 2011. The president felt he went out on a limb in offering cuts to Medicare, only for Boehner to refuse to agree to tax hikes. (Boehner argues President Obama moved the goal posts to demand additional tax hikes at the last minute.)  

Given the history, McDonough is somewhat hemmed in on his dealmaking options and has focused on Senate GOP centrists.  

So far, he has followed the more cautious approach taken by former chief of staff Jack Lew in 2012 fiscal talks that culminated in the “fiscal-cliff” deal. But McDonough takes a less hardball approach in delivering the message than Lew, who angered Republicans at the negotiating table.

Will Smith Republican staff director for the House Appropriations Committee 

The technical and collaborative nature of appropriations bills means committee staff will play a crucial role in the debt ceiling and government funding showdowns. 

Smith has the same genteel Southern demeanor as his boss, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.).  

Like Rogers, he can also play hardball when he needs to.  

Together, the two got often-reluctant GOP appropriators to stick together and vote for 2014 spending bills with, as Rogers put it, “bloody” cuts to cherished programs.  

Smith was named staff director for the committee in March after Bill Inglee stepped down. He previously served as deputy director, and prior to that, had worked as Rogers’s chief of staff.  

A specialist in foreign aid spending, Smith has a deep connection to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), once serving as the leader’s chauffeur. That could prove crucial in the weeks ahead. 

David Pomerantz Democratic lead staffer for the House Appropriations Committee

Pomerantz knows where all the bodies are buried.  

He has more than two decades of experience in Congress, including time on the House Rules Committee staff, and serves as the right hand for Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.  

He also brings the analytical training of a political philosophy professor to the job — Pomerantz once taught at the State University of New York.  

Pomerantz will be in the negotiating trenches, leading his staff in backroom talks with Republicans to try to prevent a government shutdown and reverse or mitigate as many of the automatic spending cuts under the sequester as possible. 


Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson Co-founders of the Campaign to Fix the Debt

Bowles and Simpson led President Obama’s debt commission in 2010, and their report has been at the center of Washington’s pitched budget battles ever since.  

The commission report got bipartisan support but hasn’t come close to being passed by Congress. It included deep spending cuts, tax hikes and entitlement reforms. 

Bowles, who served as former President Clinton’s chief of staff, and Simpson, a former GOP senator from Wyoming, continue to press for a grand bargain, and their ideas are taken seriously by both parties. If they offer an endorsement of a proposal, it creates news.  

Bowles and Simpson are pushing the idea that tax reform can be roped into the discussion and possibly provide a bipartisan agreement on revenue that could remove the biggest stumbling block for a grand bargain on reducing the deficit. 

“They believe it is possible to reach a principled compromise that is large enough to at least stabilize the debt if there is the political will and leadership to do so,” Ed Lorenzen of the Bowles-Simpson Moment of Truth Project said in early August. 

William Duhnke Republican staff director for the Senate Appropriations Committee

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) brought Duhnke over to lead the GOP staff on Appropriations when he became the committee’s top Republican this year.  

Duhnke, who had previously served with Shelby as the staff director of the chamber’s Banking Committee, has experience in crafting big deals and in dealing with crises.  

He was a staff director on the Intelligence panel after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, an aide noted, and led the Banking panel during the 2008 financial crisis. Now he sits atop Appropriations for the latest budget crisis.  

Duhnke has the complete trust of his boss — he’s served Shelby since 1993 and is an expert in defense and space agency budgeting. 

Shelby and his director’s task has been especially hard this year. Minority party appropriators typically work in a bipartisan fashion with the majority, but that hasn’t been possible given the top-line budget numbers used by Senate Democrats, which Shelby and GOP leaders view as too high.

The standoff means that Duhnke will likely be down in the trenches close to Sept. 30, when the fiscal year ends, working to find a way to write and pass a stopgap spending measure to prevent a government shutdown. 

Chris Chocola President of the Club for Growth

Chocola, a former congressman from Indiana, has been president of the Club for Growth since 2009 and a serious thorn in the side of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) since 2011. 

A Club key vote against a bill is a telling signal that there will be serious House Republican defections. That’s a problem because Boehner generally can lose no more than about 15 of his members given Democratic opposition to his agenda.  

The Club has focused on using this fall’s fiscal battle to end President Obama’s signature healthcare overhaul.  

Chocola says his goals are to “support champions of economic freedom” like Tea Party favorites Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). All four are fighting to use the government funding battles to defund ObamaCare. 

“More generally, our goal is to get our country back on a path to fiscal sustainability,” Chocola said. 

Whatever House leaders decide to do in terms of fiscal strategy this fall, there is no doubt they will try to sell it to Chocola. 

Grover Norquist President of Americans for Tax Reform

Norquist wields immense power in Washington because 219 House members and 39 senators have taken his organization’s pledge to not raise taxes.  

If lawmakers vote for new taxes as part of a budget deal, Norquist will decide whether they are breaking the pledge. 

 In January, he issued the equivalent of a papal indulgence to Republicans, allowing them to vote for a compromise that extended most of the Bush-era income tax cuts permanently but allowed tax rates to rise on annual household incomes above $450,000.  

Eighty-five House Republicans backed the deal.  

Norquist wants Republicans to use the upcoming spending fight as leverage to win concessions on ObamaCare, but advises a targeted approach.  

For example, he told The Hill that getting President Obama to delay the controversial mandate for individuals to buy insurance could be an attainable concession, while trying to end ObamaCare is not.  

The GOP must at all costs keep sequester levels of spending in the resolution and avoid the “Trojan horse” of tax reform, which could lead to tax hikes, Norquist said. 

“Keep the sequester, keep the sequester, keep the sequester,” Norquist said. “Can we also do something on ObamaCare? I think that’s very likely.” 


Jack Lew Treasury secretary

Known as a master of the federal budget, Lew will have a major role in tax reform’s success or failure. 

The president tapped Lew, who had limited experience with the financial markets, to replace Tim Geithner precisely because he thought fiscal issues would be central to his second term.  

Tax writers on Capitol Hill had been concerned that the Obama administration had shown limited interest in rewriting the code. But, during his confirmation hearings, Lew tried to reassure the Senate Finance Committee that reform would be a priority.

Now, Lew talks regularly to both Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Senate Finance Committee chairman; and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Treasury has also increased its presence on Capitol Hill, with senior officials briefing Ways and Means Committee members in recent weeks on technical issues dealing with small businesses and complex financial products like derivatives.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) Senate Finance Committee chairman

A Capitol Hill veteran of almost 40 years, Baucus went all in on tax reform when he announced this year that he would not seek reelection in 2014. 

Since then, Baucus has held regular meetings with fellow Finance Committee members, both one-on-one and as part of panel-wide discussions on a range of tax topics.  

He and Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), the top Republican on the committee, also worked with some success to gather the opinions of senators on what tax breaks should survive in a new code. Baucus and Hatch put so much emphasis on their so-called “blank slate” process that they promised their colleagues 50 years worth of secrecy for submissions.

Fellow senators and lobbyists have said that Baucus’s retirement announcement gave a boost to tax reform since the Montana Democrat has nothing left to lose. 

With that in mind, Baucus is telling lawmakers, like his GOP counterpart in the House, Dave Camp, to get ready for a fall markup of tax reform legislation.

But the last few weeks have also revealed the major roadblocks that stand in Baucus’s way. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and other Democratic leaders are pressuring Baucus to produce a bill with “significant” amounts of revenue. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republicans have said the insistence on new revenue has all but killed off the possibility for reform. Some Republicans have also suggested that, despite Baucus’s statements to the contrary, the Finance chairman could get on board with a revenue-neutral deal if he didn’t face pressure from Democratic leaders.

Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) House Ways and Means Committee chairman

Camp is now more than two years into an all-consuming push for tax reform that has no guarantee of success.

The effort is entering a crucial phase this fall, with the chairman vowing to push a revamp through his committee before the debt ceiling needs to be raised. 

Time is running short, as Camp is serving his last scheduled term with the Ways and Means gavel. 

His tax reform bill has the coveted H.R. 1 legislative spot, and Camp and others in GOP leadership have been buttonholing the rank-and-file to get their take on what an overhauled code should look like. The Michigan Republican has also released three draft proposals dealing with tax reform. 

Still, plenty of challenges remain. Camp’s fellow Republicans are on board with his general framework, but congressional Democrats — including Senate leadership — have largely rejected the GOP’s call to reform the tax code without raising more revenue. 

With significant differences between the parties, Camp and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) have taken to barnstorming across the country to marshal support for their efforts.  

Camp’s own political fortunes also may play a role in how the reform push plays out over the next 17 months. The Michigan Republican has said he’s considering a Senate run in 2014, a quest that could leave him with less time to pursue tax reform.

Brian Gallagher President and CEO of United Way Worldwide

A three-decade veteran at the United Way, Gallagher is helping to lead the charge to keep the deduction for charitable contributions off the chopping block in tax reform. 

The charitable sector has been on edge over the fate of its deduction for more than four years — ever since President Obama first proposed capping the deduction at 28 percent. 

Gallagher told the House Ways and Means Committee in February such a move would reduce contributions to local United Ways by some $100 million a year. In all, United Ways raise close to $4 billion a year in the United States.

“Please don’t be fooled into thinking that limiting the charitable deduction will only impact wealthy taxpayers,” Gallagher told the panel. “A limitation on the deductibility of charitable donations isn’t really an increase in tax on the wealthy so much as it is a transfer to the government of money that would otherwise go to charities.”

To position themselves for tax reform, the nonprofit sector and charitable coalitions have ramped up their lobbying efforts, arguing that incentives for giving are especially important in times of budgetary uncertainty.

The attention given to the charitable deduction illustrates the difficult choices tax writers have to make with a code where many of the most expensive provisions are also quite popular.

Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) Ranking member on the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures

Neal is a senior member of a select group: Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee who Republicans think they can win over in a tax reform deal.  

It’s pretty clear why the GOP would seek out Neal, who is seen as more business-friendly than many of his Democratic colleagues and among the sharper tax minds on the Democratic side of the Ways and Means Committee dais.  

Getting Democratic votes on the committee — and perhaps a senior one, to boot — would give a serious boost to Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s (R-Mich.) push for tax reform. 

Neal himself has stressed the importance of tax reform and his willingness to discuss the issue with committee Republicans. The Massachusetts Democrat is close with Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), the chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee that deals with taxes.

But the veteran congressman, who came close to jumping several more senior members to take the top Democratic slot on the committee two years ago, could also have political reasons for not wanting to break ranks. 

Unlike Republicans, Neal has said tax reform should raise revenue, and he doesn’t see any Democratic votes for a plan that doesn’t. 

Neal also has pushed hard for keeping incentives in the tax code that help spur investment in lower-income areas and encourage manufacturing and infrastructure development.

Thomas Barthold 
Chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT)

Barthold is unknown outside of the tax world, but the JCT chief of staff could have the fate of reform in his hands.

The policy divides between Democrats and Republicans on tax reform are already well-known — perhaps none more than whether a revamped code should raise more revenue. 

But it’s up to Barthold and his staff to, officially speaking, rule on the fiscal effects of a tax reform proposal. During the run-up to the 1986 tax overhaul, JCT projections were crucial, with a bad score forcing lawmakers and staffers into frenzied rewrites of legislation. 

Barthold and his crew are already playing a role in the debate, with Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) recently circulating a JCT estimate showing that a GOP framework would require some $5 trillion in cuts to tax preferences to avoid adding to the deficit. 

Camp has vowed that his tax reform bill would be revenue-neutral under static scoring, the traditional method that does not try to take into account economic changes caused by the alterations to the code.  

But Barthold and his staff, under House rules, will also produce a score that does consider tax reform’s effect on the economy.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) Finance Committee chairman-in-waiting

Wyden has long been known as a senator with many interests — energy policy, healthcare and surveillance issues, among them.

But the Oregon Democrat also has a soft spot for tax reform, having introduced a detailed, bipartisan proposal with both former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) in recent Congresses.  

Wyden says there’s no doubt that the last successful tax reform effort in 1986 helped give the economy a jolt. He often cites the statistic that 6.3 million jobs were created in the two years after that tax overhaul — more, he says, than in the eight years after the 2001 Bush tax cuts.  

Recent developments are also conspiring to give Wyden far more sway over tax policy: Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus’s (R-Mont.) retirement announcement this year put Wyden in line to take over the committee gavel if Democrats retain the Senate in 2014.  

But Wyden has found himself in something of a tight spot on taxes recently. His bipartisan tax reform bills have all been revenue-neutral, meaning they neither raise nor reduce revenue to the Treasury.

That’s naturally made him a GOP target on tax reform, but Wyden also voted for the Senate Democratic budget this year that raised $975 billion in new revenue. 

Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) Ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee

Levin says the tax code is in dire need of reform. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to get onboard with the GOP’s bill.

Levin did team up this year with Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), whom he’s known for decades, to create 11 separate working groups on tax reform that looked at topics ranging from education to energy.  

But the Michigan Democrat also has long been skeptical of the House Republican plan to slash both the top corporate and individual tax rates by at least 10 percentage points, down to 25 percent each. 

Levin has also challenged Camp to work with Democrats to craft a bipartisan bill. 

But unlike Republicans, Levin believes that tax reform should raise revenue to reduce deficits, and has sounded skeptical that any Democrats on his panel will go along with the GOP’s preferred revenue-neutral approach. 

Levin recently brandished new estimates that suggested some $5 trillion worth of tax preferences and incentives would need to be rolled back in order to offset the Republican’s rate-cutting wishes.  

That sort of approach, Levin says, puts on the chopping block many of the more expensive, and popular, tax breaks that broadly help the middle class — like the deduction for mortgage interest and incentives for retirement savings. 

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) Ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee

If bipartisan effort were enough, Hatch and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) would have already found a path forward on tax reform. 

The Finance Committee chairman and ranking member teamed up to urge their 98 colleagues to give them suggestions about what provisions should stay in the tax code. 

And unlike the partisan free-for-all in the House, Baucus and Hatch have kept a united front in their joint investigation into the IRS’s singling out of Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status. 

But Hatch would be among the first to admit that tax reform still has its share of obstacles. The Utah Republican was out front recently in chiding Obama’s plan to reform just the corporate tax system, an approach that the GOP says would leave behind millions of small businesses that pay taxes as individuals.  

Hatch has also gone after Democratic leaders for viewing tax reform as just a revenue-raising exercise, and called the White House plan just the latest attempt to undercut Baucus, his colleague for 35 years.

Bob Packwood Former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee

Packwood was Senate Finance chairman for less than three years. It just so happens that tenure also includes the last time Congress successfully reformed the tax code. 

Packwood is among a shrinking number of players from that 1986 effort still around in Washington, after the deaths of former President Reagan and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski.  

Packwood has insisted that Obama is going to have to show more leadership for tax reform to have a chance. But he adds that the odds are stacked against today’s tax writers. 

Packwood famously sketched out a tax reform plan on a napkin at The Irish Times, a Capitol Hill bar and restaurant, during a particularly dark moment in the 1986 debate. 

Now, Max Baucus (R-Mont.), the current Finance Committee chairman, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) are bringing groups of lawmakers back to The Irish Times for burgers and beers before the tax reform negotiations get heated. 

Jerry Giovaniello Senior vice president of government affairs at the National Association of Realtors

Giovaniello is one of the top lobbyists paid to protect perhaps the most entrenched of tax breaks — the deduction for mortgage interest.  

A chief of staff to two California congressmen in the 1970s, Giovaniello has been with the realtors group for more than three decades — a tenure that gives him experience with the last successful overhaul of the tax code in 1986.

Back then, President Reagan took the mortgage interest off the table a full two years before he signed the final bill.

These days, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle acknowledge that the deduction will survive in some form, no matter where tax reform goes. 

“The federal policy choice to support home ownership has been in the Internal Revenue Code since its inception. We see no valid reason to undermine that basic decision,” Gary Thomas, the association’s president, told the House Ways and Means Committee this year.

Giovaniello and housing lobbyists are fighting to keep their deduction fully intact, which now covers second homes and up to $1.1 million in mortgage.  

Critics of the current structure say the setup doesn’t encourage home ownership as much as give those already in the market motivation to buy a bigger house.

Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio) Chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures 

Tiberi is not shy about criticizing Democratic leaders in Washington. 

President Obama, the Ohio Republican says, has shown a stunning lack of leadership by not pushing harder for a broad rewrite of the U.S. tax code.  

Tiberi has also said that, while most Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee would never team up with the panel’s Republicans on a tax reform bill, several would if left to their own devices.

Still, Tiberi has said he fully expects House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders to pressure the rank-and-file against going along with Republicans. Given Tiberi’s status as a senior tax writer, his statements carry sway no matter what.  

But the seven-term lawmaker is also close with both Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), his longtime colleague from the Buckeye State. 

Tiberi’s willingness to speak freely gives some clues to what both Camp and Boehner are thinking on both tax policy and the chances for reform.

Cathy Koch Chief adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on tax and economic policy

Reid and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) may have their differences right now on taxes, but they have at least one thing in common: Cathy Koch. 

Koch, formerly the tax chief under Baucus at the Finance Committee, joined Reid’s staff this year. While at the committee, she helped craft the tax provisions in both the stimulus package and President Obama’s healthcare law. Koch has also been a staff economist at the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), and staff director of the Finance subcommittee on Energy.

After that, Koch lobbied for General Electric before returning to Capitol Hill in Reid’s office. 

“Cathy will be my go-to person for all issues related to tax and economic policy, and tax reform,” Reid said in announcing Koch’s arrival. 

Reid’s tapping of Koch raised some hopes about tax reform’s chances in the Senate, given that the majority leader has yet to make an overhaul of the code a top priority. 

But the split between Baucus and Reid and other Democratic leaders has only appeared to widen in recent weeks, with the majority leader suggesting he was concerned that the Finance Committee chairman wouldn’t fight hard enough for revenue increases.

Ken Kies Managing director of the Federal Policy Group

This time, Kies is on the other side of the lobby.  

In 1986, the last time Washington ripped up and rewrote the tax code, Kies was a top GOP staffer at the House Ways and Means Committee. Now, he’s among the more prominent figures on K Street, with a corporate client list that includes Caterpillar Inc., Microsoft and General Electric.  

Lobbyists have long played a crucial role in tax policy, with individual companies and interest groups having huge stakes in what’s in the tax code. 

Kies has been far from confident that Washington will be able to duplicate the successes of 1986. But if it gains steam, he’s seen as having real sway with lawmakers. 

An annual policy breakfast run by Kies’s Federal Policy Group has featured tax writers from both parties and chambers.

Timothy Cook Chief executive of Apple, Inc.

Cook and Apple are all in on rewriting the tax code — and, given the tech giant’s popularity, that could give the reform movement some needed momentum.

Cook testified before the Senate this year that Apple pays every dollar it owes in taxes after Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said the company had employed a series of complex offshore maneuvers to avoid paying taxes in both the United States and Ireland.  

The Apple chief executive also said that he had no plans to bring back the roughly $100 billion the company has stashed offshore until that money would be less vulnerable to U.S. revenue collectors. 

But Cook has also said that Apple would be willing to pay more in taxes in exchange for a simpler code. And top tax writers have said the Apple case — in addition to the IRS controversy — makes a strong case for reform.

Len Burman Director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

For an obscure Washington think tank, the Tax Policy Center played an outsized role in the 2012 presidential election. 

Last year, a Tax Policy Center study asserted that GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s tax plan would have to shift the tax burden toward the middle class to keep it from adding to the deficit. Obama’s campaign latched on to the analysis even as Romney dismissed it as “garbage.” 

The back-and-forth underscored the influence of the tax center and its sophisticated models. 

The center’s yearly analyses of both the president’s budget and Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) road map, for instance, are well read around town — as would its scoring of any tax reform plan that gains traction on Capitol Hill.

Burman is coming back to the center after helping to found TPC in 2002 and serving in the director role until 2009. Most recently a Syracuse professor, Burman was also at the Treasury Department during the 1986 tax reform push, and later was a deputy assistant secretary at the department late in the Clinton administration. 

John Engler President of Business Roundtable

To Engler and the corporate giants in the Business Roundtable, the end game for tax reform should be pretty clear: reducing the corporate rate to 25 percent and limiting U.S. taxation of offshore corporate income. 

But don’t expect Engler and his group of corporate chief executives to give Congress or the White House much advice on how to pull that off.  

Engler, the Roundtable’s top voice in lobbying on tax reform, is no stranger to lobbying and no rookie at helming some of K Street’s best-known shops. Before heading over to the Roundtable in 2011, Engler, a former GOP governor of Michigan, spent more than six years leading the National Association of Manufacturers.  

To date, the Roundtable’s pitch on tax reform has also included seeking a comprehensive rewrite of the code, and pouring all revenue gained from ending tax preferences into lower rates.

On some level, it’s no surprise the CEO group doesn’t want to weigh in on which incentives should be chopped to pay for those lower rates, given the diverse industries in the Roundtable.  

A recent Roundtable letter to senators, for instance, said a review of tax breaks “should not unfairly target or favor any industry, but rather should acknowledge that a neutral tax system would better allow the engine of the economy to operate.”

Tags Al Gore Barbara Boxer Barbara Mikulski Bernie Sanders Bob Goodlatte Boehner Carl Levin Dan Coats Denis McDonough Elizabeth Warren Eric Cantor Ernest Moniz Gina McCarthy Harry Reid Jack Lew Jerry Moran John Boehner John Cornyn John Kerry John McCain Kay Hagan Lindsey Graham Lisa Murkowski Luis Gutierrez Marco Rubio Mark Begich Mark Pryor Mary Landrieu Max Baucus Mike Lee Mitch McConnell Orrin Hatch Patty Murray Paul Ryan Rand Paul Ron Wyden Sheldon Whitehouse Susan Collins Ted Cruz Tom Coburn

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video