Trump Means More DC Lobbying Business, Not Less
Despite the fact a primary rationale of President-elect Donald Trump’s candidacy was to decimate the Beltway culture and Washington insiders, one of the biggest ironies is that lobbyists stand to benefit significantly from his election.
Why? Uncertainty and fear: uncertainty about Trump’s ultimate policy orientation on a range of issues; fear that they will have little or no access to the new Trump team.
And this means there will be a premium on ‘access’ — and K Street firms are scrambling to pick up the small handful of policy and political aides who do have access, or perceived access, to the small circle of Trump advisers who actually matter.
A variety of DC firms have quickly disseminated interesting takes on what Trump means for DC:
Squire Patton Boggs: “We expect President-elect Trump to approach the presidency with the same tenacity and audacity he brought to the presidential campaign. After repeatedly seeing President-elect Trump defy expectations and prove conventional wisdom wrong, one cannot discount the possibility that the Trump approach, when applied to actual governing, could produce results. It seems a reasonable possibility that the Trump presidency could eventually take on the now-familiar characteristics of a Trump political campaign: chaotic, messy, divisive, controversial and often outrageous — but in the end, surprisingly effective …”
Arnold and Porter: “President-elect Trump will govern as he campaigned, which is what worries his opponents, and perhaps even some of his allies. Democrats see President-elect Trump in apocalyptic terms that may make it hard to find common ground on most policy issues, though his policy flexibility may also provide unique opportunities to work across the aisle on some issues. Meanwhile, many establishment Republicans are skeptical that the President-elect is truly conservative or even a credible change agent who can unravel the policy victories of President Obama. The political establishment of both parties fears Trump’s election upends most of the modern ‘rules’ of the presidency and politics, leaving a political culture that is coarser and more likely to act impulsively and inconsistently, which serves to further undermine public confidence in government …”
BakerHostetler: “His election is a political earthquake on an unprecedented scale. Trump did not just become president; he single-handedly saved the Republican majority from certain defeat in the Senate. … In the House, nearly every Republican lawmaker elected last night saw Trump win their district. Those political coattails should aid Trump in driving his priorities through Congress, even as he fleshes out what was a thin agenda articulated during the campaign. The most important people in Washington right now are the dozens of staffers making up the official Trump transition effort. So much for Washington gridlock: The first-time candidate’s victory coupled with Republican control of Congress in 2017 will put squarely in the crosshairs President Obama’s signature legislative achievements — the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as his administration’s aggressive regulations on climate and labor policy …”
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck: “As surprising as it may be to some, the policy path forward under the unified Republican government has already been well outlined. Between President-elect Trump’s Contract with the American Voter and House Republicans’ A Better Way agenda, the main pillars of the Republican White House and congressional majority are clear. Given the expectations of Trump supporters for quick action, there are a number of issues that deserve your immediate attention: infrastructure investment, immigration and border security, trade, tax reform, health care reform, and Supreme Court appointments. However, there are several other priorities that did not receive as much attention, but which the new Republican government will be confronted with immediately upon assuming power, including addressing an annual deficit approaching $1 trillion annually.”