Report: 40 Trump-Connected Lobbyists Got Over $10B In COVID Relief For Clients
A new report from watchdog group Public Citizen revealed that 40 lobbyists tied to President Donald Trump “have been hired to lobby on COVID-19 issues since the pandemic and secured over $10 billion in coronavirus relief aid for clients,” according to The Hill.
- The news outlet wrote that the “40 lobbyists represented at least 150 clients, 27 of which received $10.5 billion in aid collectively, and 14 of which are companies working on vaccines, therapeutics or tests.”
- All of the lobbyists “either worked on Trump’s campaign, inaugural committee, transition team or in the administration.”
- Among them are Emily Felder, former director in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’s Office of Legislation under Trump, and Geoff Burr, former chief of staff to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
Trump issued an executive order when he took office prohibiting former administration officials from lobbying the agency or office where they were worked for five years and prohibiting former political appointees from lobbying the administration during Trump’s time in office.
- Brownstein Hyatt Faber Schreck, one of the firms mentioned in the Public Citizen report that “has signed at least 45 clients to work on COVID-19 issues,” said through a spokesperson: “We are confident that our lobbyists are in compliance with all lobbying rules and applicable prohibitions and did not violate their Trump Administration pledge. Further, none of these individuals have lobbied the Executive Branch. These individuals are permitted to lobby the Senate or House and the LDAs reflect that.”
Public Citizen requested an investigation in a letter to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics and other agencies as to whether five former Trump administration officials, which includes Felder and Burr, have violated the Trump ethics pledge amid the pandemic, The Hill reported.