Lobbying firms and other companies are putting a high value on House Speaker John Boehner's staff members, as rumors swirl that the Ohio Republican may not be around for another term.
"I expect you will see some defections in the next six months," Larry Latourette, a principal for Lateral Link, told The Hill.
"Now is a good time to cash in."
Boehner's senior aides could attract salaries of $200,000 to $400,000, headhunters are saying, and some of his high-ranking aides have found those payouts hard to ignore, The Hill reported.
Barry Jackson, Boehner’s longtime chief of staff, left in February to join Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck as a strategic adviser and the Lindsey Group as a managing director, Politico reports.
Brett Loper, the speaker's deputy chief of staff, left this week to run American Express' Washington office, according to ABC News
House leadership aides always are in demand because of their knowledge, connections, and their experience in policy debates. Boehner's staff still has some prized recruits left, with lobbyists and headhunters mentioning his current chief of staff, Mike Sommers, and deputy chief Dave Schnittger, as likely targets.
Anne Thorsen, Boehner's floor director, is gaining attention as well, as is newly promoted policy director Dave Stewart, The Hill reports.
But many lobbyists doubt that Boehner's most-loyal aides will be leaving anytime soon because they have been with him for years, some even since his first election in 1991.
They likely will stay with him until he leaves Congress.
"I'd be willing to [say] that more of these top staff stay with John through this [election] cycle and another should he remain speaker," one Boehner aide told The Hill. "Some have been with him since birth and are unlikely to make a move until John decides to go."
But that loyalty is what K Street is after, and the speaker "tends to be the king of the forest," Ivan Adler, a principal at the McCormick Group, told The Hill.
"Those aides have two of the three Ps down, which make folks on the Hill really valuable to the outside world," said Adler. "They know people and process, and some know the third, which is policy.”
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