Paul Ryan: Corporate Lobbyist Would Be Chief Of Staff
Above Photo: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., makes a point during his appearance on “Meet the Press” in Washington Sunday. Reuters.
As he builds support for his bid for speaker of the House, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan has announced he will name as his top aide a longtime corporate lobbyist whose past clients have significant business before Congress. The Washington Post reported if he wins the speaker’s job, Ryan will name as his chief of staff registered lobbyist David Hoppe, a former aide to Sens. Trent Lott and John Kyl. The announcement comes a decade after congressional Republicans’ so-called K Street Project, which sought to bring lobbyists closer to the Republican policymaking machine, resulted in federal indictments.
Federal records show since 2010, Hoppe has lobbied for major financial industry interests such as insurance giant MetLife, the National Venture Capital Association and Zurich Financial Services. He has also lobbied for investment firm BlackRock, which could be affected by efforts to changefederal financial regulations and which could benefit from a recent proposal to shift military pension money into a federal savings plan managed in part by the Wall Street giant. And Hoppe has lobbied for Cayman Finance, whose business “promot[ing] the development of the Cayman Islands financial services industry” could be affected by legislation to crack down on offshore tax havens.
In 2015 alone, Hoppe registered to lobby for the Lebanese al-Mawarid Bank on “issues affecting the Lebanese financial sector,” online retailer Amazon on legislation dealing with Internet sales taxes, and food giant Mars on the “Farm Bill reauthorization and implementation” as well as “legislation related to food and pet food regulation.”
Federal records show Hoppe has also previously lobbied for:
— The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has pledged to wage “all-out war” against proposals to mandate paid family leave. (Ryan, who has opposed such mandates in the past, stipulated his own “family time” be protected before agreeing to run for speaker.)
— The National Association of Broadcasters, which represents major media corporations in their various legislative initiatives before Congress.
— AT&T and the United States Telecom Association on the issue of net neutrality, which Congress may deal with thanks to a legislative initiative to try to prevent the Federal Communications Commission from regulating telecom companies.