Two GOP Lawmakers Join High-Powered Lobbying Firm Just Days After Leaving Office

Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Lamar Smith (R-TX).Photo illustration: The Intellectualist; Background image: Glyn Lowe PhotoWorks/CC BY 2.0

Just days after retiring, GOP Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lamar Smith started afresh at a high-powered lobbying firm.

Newly retired Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Lamar Smith (R-TX) have moved straight from Congress to Washington, D.C. lobbying firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, according to The Hill.

Both long-serving Republicans are participating in what many have come to call the “revolving door” of Washington, where politicians and lobbyists move in and out of public service — a dynamic increasingly viewed as promoting conflicts of interest within the government.

“As home to the largest public policy practice in Washington, Akin Gump has always been a successful advocate on behalf of its clients, both domestic and foreign, on trade matters and other critical issues,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a press release. “My move here builds so well on the work I have accomplished during my time in Congress, and I am excited to begin this next chapter in my career.”

Ros-Lehtinen retired from Congress after three decades and was the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee during her tenure.

Smith, who served over three decades in Congress, chaired the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

“The firm’s ability to address both public policy and legal issues allows it to achieve outstanding results for clients from all over the world. I very much look forward to working with a firm that has such a well-deserved reputation,” Smith said in the release.