Business & Lobbying

Over 500 clients hired Trump-connected lobbyists so far in 2020

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Lobbyists connected to President Trump have been hired by 551 clients so far in 2020 to lobby on various issues including coronavirus relief, according to a report from the Center for Responsive Politics released on Wednesday.

The report included registrations for 39 registered lobbyists who were former White House aides, executive office aides or former staffers on the Trump campaign, transition team or inauguration. 

Of those 551 clients, 154 clients deployed Trump-tied lobbyists on issues related to the coronavirus. Lobbyists connected to Trump secured more than $10 billion in coronavirus relief aid for clients as of July, progressive watchdog group Public Citizen reported at the time.

The Center for Responsive Politics report found that Trump bundlers Brian Ballard of Ballard Partners and Jeff Miller of Miller Strategies were the most successful Trump-connected lobbyists so far this year. Ballard had raised more than $569,000 and Miller raised more than $2.7 million for Trump’s reelection in the first half of 2020.

Other lobbyists included former Trump campaign senior adviser David Urban, now of the American Continental Group; Aaron Szabo, a former senior counsel for the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality under Trump who now works at the CGCN Group; and Jonathan Slemrod, a former associate director of legislative affairs at the Office of Management and Budget under Trump who is now at Harbinger Strategies. 

Overall, more than 1,000 clients hired lobbyists with close ties to the White House and to the top four congressional leaders so far in 2020, and 40 percent of those clients reported hiring lobbyists for issues related to the coronavirus, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 

Former aides to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were hired by 275 clients so far in 2020, and 149 of those clients hired McConnell-connected lobbyists to work on coronavirus-related issues. The group found that 29 lobbyists who are former aides to McConnell secured these clients.

Former aides to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were hired by 232 clients so far in 2020, and 115 of those clients hired these lobbyists to work on coronavirus-related issues. Eighteen former aides to Pelosi secured these clients. 

Sixteen former aides to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) who are now lobbyists have been hired by 127 clients, and 57 were for coronavirus-related issues. And 10 former aides to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) who are now lobbyists have been hired by 151 clients, and 72 were for coronavirus-related issues.

Tags Charles Schumer Donald Trump Jeff Miller Kevin McCarthy lobbyist Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Trump connections White House
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