John Boehner joins lobbying firm

John Boehner joins lobbying firm
© Francis Rivera

Former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFrom learning on his feet to policy director Is Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush MORE (R-Ohio) is joining the law and lobby firm Squire Patton Boggs, ending speculation about whether he would return to Washington following his shock retirement last year. 

BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFrom learning on his feet to policy director Is Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush MORE will not be lobbying, the firm says, but instead providing strategic advice to clients in the United States and abroad.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I left the private sector and got into public service decades ago because I wanted to help remove government barriers to economic growth and job creation, and that’s still the mission that drives me,” Boehner said in a statement.  

It’s Boehner’s second foray into the private sector, following the news last week that he is joining the board of the tobacco giant Reynolds American.

Boehner resigned from Congress in October amid a conservative plot to oust him as Speaker. Since then, he has primarily been traveling the country, doing paid speeches and raising money for other lawmakers. 

The son of a bar owner in Ohio, Boehner worked at a small sales firm right out of college, eventually becoming the company’s president. 

He was elected to Congress in 1990 and rose quickly through the ranks, in part due to his ability to raise large sums of money for himself and his party. 

Boehner became the chairman of the House Republican Conference in 1995, his first role in leadership, and was elected Speaker in 2011. 

Known as a “Chamber of Commerce" Republican, Boehner already has a large network on K Street, with many of his former advisers and aides working at corporations, trade groups, and law and lobby shops around Washington.

For Squire Patton Boggs, once the largest lobbying firm on K Street by revenue, the addition of Boehner is a coup. The former Speaker will bring his expansive contacts to the firm, along with inside knowledge about the House Republican Conference that few can match.

Squire Patton Boggs has gone through a merger and rebranding in recent years amid staff defections but has a growing global reach.

“With Speaker Boehner joining our team, we're better positioned than ever to grow our brand throughout the world and to fully capitalize on our integrated global platform,” said Squire Patton Boggs CEO Mark Ruehlmann in a statement. 

The gig is the second big paycheck for Boehner in as many weeks. Board members at Reynolds American can make $400,000 per year in total compensation, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

On K Street, he's likely making much more.

"It wouldn't surprise me if they paid him upwards of a million dollars," said Ivan Adler, a principal at The McCormick Group. "Typically, the average salary for a former senator will start at about $1 million at a K Street law firm. For a prominent House member, it's $500,000 and up, unless it's someone really special. With leadership, you get a little bit more."

Boehner will be joined at the firm by longtime aides John Criscuolo and Amy Lozupone. Crisculo has been running The Freedom Project, Boehner’s leadership PAC, while Lozupone has been working in an office for the former Speaker housed in the Longworth building on Capitol Hill. 

His former deputy chief of staff, Dave Schnittger, and former policy adviser, Natasha Hammond, already work at Squire Patton Boggs.

“Our mission is to provide insight for clients throughout the world at the point where law, business and government meet,” Steve Mahon, the firm’s global managing partner, said in a statement. “With his reputation and combined experience in both business and government, there are few people better equipped than Speaker Boehner to help us take things to the next level and bring our services to clients around the world.”

While Boehner will focus primarily on being a rainmaker for the firm — it says he will be working primarily on business development — he will be in good company: Former Sens. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and John Breaux (D-La.) run the lobby shop.

Squire Patton Boggs has 46 offices in 21 countries on five continents.