Retiring GOP lawmaker lands at lobby firm

Retiring Rep. Jim GerlachJames (Jim) GerlachThe business case for employer to employee engagement 2018 midterms: The blue wave or a red dawn? Pa. GOP 'disappointed' by rep retiring after filing deadline MORE (R-Pa.) is joining Venable as a partner, the firm announced Wednesday.

Venable touted his experience in taxes and healthcare, noting his service on the House Ways and Means Committee and the panel’s subcommittees on Health and Select Revenue.

“[Gerlach] was considered by many to be the lead Republican on Ways and Means Manufacturing Working Group,” Venable said.

Gerlach, who spent 12 years in Congress, will serve in the legislative and government affairs group, though he faces a “cooling off” period from lobbying his congressional colleagues.

“We are anxious to introduce him to our clients,” said Brock Landry, the co-chairman of Venable’s government division, in a statement. “He has been a highly respected legislator throughout his years of service, and his knowledge and style fit perfectly with our Venable team. We anticipate enormous attention to both healthcare and tax policy in the next Congress, so Jim's experience will be critically important.”

The law and lobby firm made $9.3 million in lobbying fees last year, and has high-level clients including Amazon, American Airlines, Lockheed Martin, Chrysler, Hilton and Marriott. 

“Venable is one of the most respected names in Washington with an especially strong record of leadership in government affairs,” Gerlach said in a statement. “I have had the opportunity over the years to work with several Venable attorneys and advisors, especially legislative practice group co-chairs, Will Nordwind and Rob Smith, and I look forward to working with them in the challenging legislative environment ahead.”

Gerlach announced that he would not run for another term in January, saying, “it is simply time for me to move on to new challenges and to spend more time with my wife and family."

“This is a tremendously difficult decision because I have had the opportunity to work with a multitude of dedicated public servants throughout the years," Gerlach said in a statement at the time.

Venable employs other former government officials, including Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), former Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind.) and Jim Burnley, a Transportation secretary under President Reagan.

In addition to the firm’s Washington, DC., office, Gerlach will also work out of the firm’s Wilmington, Del., office.