Friday, December 10, 2010

John Boehner adds lobbyist to staff - Chris Frates -

John Boehner adds lobbyist to staff - Chris Frates -

House Speaker-elect John Boehner announced Thursday that he hired the medical device industry’s chief lobbyist as his policy director, adding to a growing number of Republican lawmakers who have recruited top aides from K Street.

Brett Loper, senior executive vice president at the Advanced Medical Technology Association, was deeply involved in the health care debate and fought against the fees Democrats ultimately assessed the industry to help pay for reform.

“I'm very pleased Brett will be joining our team,” Boehner said in a statement. “There are few people who are better equipped to help our new majority change the way the House works and advance a new governing agenda that reflects the will of the people we serve.”

But Bill Allison of the Sunlight Foundation, a government transparency group, called the move “business as usual,” noting that Loper’s now “in a much better position to help his old employer.”

“The public thinks that they’re electing a radically new Congress. And the freshmen may change but the people with power in Washington are always the same,” Allison said.

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