Former Rep. Gingrey lands on K Street

Former Rep. Gingrey lands on K Street
© Greg Nash

Former Rep. Phil GingreyJohn (Phil) Phillip GingreyEx-Tea Party lawmakers turn heads on K Street 2017's top health care stories, from ObamaCare to opioids Beating the drum on healthcare MORE (R-Ga.) has popped up on K Street.

Law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath announced on Wednesday that he would be joining the government and regulatory affairs practice as a senior advisor. Based in Washington, the six-term congressman will also work with District Policy Group, the firm’s small lobbying shop.

“This opportunity will allow me to focus on the issues I am passionate about, more so than the day-to-day politics of being a member of Congress,” Gingrey, who starts on Monday, said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to working with the firm’s diverse set of clients to help shape positive outcomes and bridge the gap between their policy goals and the intricacies of Congress.”  

He ran an unsuccessful campaign for Senate during the 2014 election cycle, losing in the Republican primary.

Gingrey, a doctor specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee in addition to the panel’s health subcommittee. He also served on the House Education and Workforce Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.

At the firm, he will work on issues not just in the healthcare space, but also trade, education, energy and telecommunications.

“I was deluged with emails this morning from clients and prospective clients with requests for his time,” said Ilisa Halpern Paul, the president of District Policy Group, told The Hill. “He’s going to be very popular.”

Within the firm’s lobby shop, he will be able to “provide that insider perspective on things — what it’s like to be lobbied, the strategies and things he and his staff had found to be effective or not effective,” she continued.

The District Policy Group has 12 lobbyists and public policy professionals, and it earned about $3.6 million in lobbying fees last year. Its clients include the American Dental Association, the Alliance for Biosecurity, the National Athletic Trainers Association and the National Association for Immigration Judges.

Ethics rules dictate that former House members must wait at least one year before engaging in activities requiring them to officially register as a lobbyist, so, at least initially, his work will mainly be focused on consulting.

Taking an active advocacy role in his second year in the private sector is “on the table,” Halpern Paul said, but it may be too early to decide whether that’s the path he will decide to take.

“But in terms of the next ten months we’re working together, we’re focused on getting him integrated into our bipartisan team,” she said. “Nothing has been presupposed as to what his role will or won’t be” next year.

Laura H. Phillips, partner and chair of Drinker Biddle’s government and regulatory affairs practice group, called the addition of Gingrey a “milestone” for the firm’s lobbying team.

“He will play an integral role as we continue to expand our bipartisan team and further enhance our public policy and government relations offerings to clients in healthcare, energy, trade and communications,” she said in a release.

Gingrey also has experience on the municipal and state level, which Halpern Paul said the firm planned to put to use.

“He’s able to talk about [what to do] if you’re trying to get something done at the school board or the state legislature, in addition to what’s going on or getting something done in Congress,” she said.