Fewer Lobbyists Moving Into Congressional Aide Jobs

Monday, 05 May 2014 01:18 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The number of lobbyists making the transition to congressional aides has slowed down markedly in the past couple of years, The Washington Post reported.

Last year, the number of people making the move reached a 10-year low. The 108 influence peddlers who became aides in 2013 was less than half than in 2011, according to data from Legistorm.com.

The decrease has been blamed on the bitter partisan politics that has gripped Washington, D.C., in recent years, along with the amount of legislation actually enacted. The problems were compounded by the government shutdown last year, according to the Post.

The newspaper also noted that there are fewer aides in Congress these days due to budget-tightening, which has also resulted in aides being paid less, often much less than lobbyists.

"It makes it even harder to hire someone from the lobbying world," said Legistorm's founder, Jock Friedly.

Ryan Adler, a headhunter for the McCormick Group who helps congressional staffers switch to lobbying, said, "It used to be that you weren't getting paid a lot of money but you could go on trips and get wined and dined and romanced by lobbyists.

"But since a 2007 ethics law that put new restrictions on gifts to lawmakers and their staffs, you can't do that anymore."

David Hoppe, a former aide to leading Republicans like Trent Lott and Jack Kemp, as well as a lobbyist with Quinn Gillespie & Associates in Washington, said that he was not surprised about the decrease in the number of people moving from "K Street to the Hill."

He said, "Why would you want to leave a job and take a pay cut and not have a lot of hope of accomplishing things? Most people want to accomplish things."

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