Presented by Obesity Care Advocacy Network
With Daniel Lippman and Theodoric Meyer
GRANGER CHIEF DECAMPS FOR K STREET: Krister Holladay is departing the Hill to head back to K Street after a brief stint as chief of staff to House Appropriations ranking member Kay Granger (R-Texas) last fall. Holladay, who is also a Saxby Chambliss alum, will be head of legislative affairs for shipping company American President Lines. He previously spent almost a decade as director of government relations for the defense contractor United Technologies, which merged with Raytheon last April. Asked why he decided to return to K Street, Holladay told PI that its hard to pass up good opportunities when they come along.
CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PAN BROADBAND BILL: Executives from nearly two dozen conservative groups today urged the Senate to reject a bipartisan bill from Sens.Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Rob Portman(R-Ohio) andAngus King (I-Maine) aimed at pouring $40 billion into broadband expansion. The Washington Post reports that the legislation would require in most instances for the new networks to support upload and download speeds of at least 100 Mbps, to ensure they do not quickly become outdated and would lift bans throughout the country on municipal broadband networks potentially allowing new entrants to compete against big Internet service providers while providing funding to make internet access more affordable for low-income families in urban areas.
While the letter argues that the objective of helping bring high-speed internet to underserved parts of the country is a noble one, the groups contend that the bill would increase the size and scope of the federal government for broadband deployment, while limiting the constitutionally delegated power of states. The letter calls on any lawmaker who values limited government and the free market to stand up against this proposal.
Among the letters signatories: Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Americans for Tax Reform, the National Taxpayers Union, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, the Hispanic Leadership Fund, the Innovation Economy Alliance, CASE, Center for Individual Freedom and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
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A message from Obesity Care Advocacy Network:
Obesity is a disease affecting nearly 100M Americans. 78% of the people who were hospitalized, placed on a ventilator or died from COVID-19 lived with obesity, particularly impacting Black and Latinx people who suffer higher rates of obesity than White Americans. Healthcare providers know obesity is a preventable and treatable disease, but Medicare doesn’t cover life-saving obesity treatment. Congress needs to change these outdated laws and provide Obesity Care Now to reduce inequities. Learn More.
CAP LANDS ON A REPLACEMENT FOR NEERA: The Center for American Progress has tapped Patrick Gaspard, a longtime Democratic operative who served most recently as president of the George Soros-led Open Society Foundations, to take the reins of the progressive think tank after its former chief executive Neera Tanden left to become a senior adviser to President Joe Biden, POLITICOs Sam Stein and Natasha Korecki report.
Gaspards current mission will be to take the reins of an entity that finds itself with newfound power inside a political system thats proven increasingly dysfunctional. CAP has fed more than 60 officials into the Biden administration, many in critical roles. It has helped shape some of the legislative initiatives and executive actions that the president has pursued on topics ranging from immigration to inclusivity in government agencies.
But the size and scope of the think tank has created problems too. CAP has accepted sizable donations from corporations such as Walmart and Google, and foreign governments such as the United Arab Emirates, leading to accusations that its work product on issues like antitrust and U.S.-Saudi policy is unduly influenced, though Gaspard argued critics should look at the track record. Weve been a leading advocate on much higher tax rates for corporations and a more robust anti-trust agenda for tech.
ANOTHER NEW SOCIAL RISK RESPONSE OFFERING: Last week PI reported on a new public affairs firm aimed at helping companies respond to woke pressure campaigns. Now ROKK Solutions and management consultancy Impact ROI are teaming up to offer a different approach to help companies respond to various social issues that could affect their bottom lines. According to our statistics, a majority of Americans expect companies to take a leadership role on social issues, but only 37 percent of consumers actually think that they’re doing a good job, Ron Bonjean, a co-founder and partner at ROKK, said in an interview.
The service will help clients develop an individualized but systemic framework geared toward taking emotions or confusion out of the clients responses or whether and when a client even needs to respond to various social threats no matter how they evolve. The new offering already has several health care and telecom clients signed, but Bonjean said he wasnt at liberty to name them.
JOHNSON JUMPS TO INVARIANT: Morgan Gress Johnson has joined lobbying and public affairs firm Invariant as a director of strategic communications, where she will advise clients on reputation and brand positioning issues. She was most recently at Brunswick Group, where she was chief of staff in the Washington office and helped clients focused in the telecom space with reputation, crisis response and general public affairs. Johnson said in an interview that her background with both startups and larger companies will bring a very helpful perspective as businesses face just this extremely interconnected world when it comes to the occasional collision of various social and political issues.
PRIVATE EQUITY MOUNTS A LAST STAND TO SAVE CARRIED INTEREST RATE: The private equity industry is targeting two dozen Democratic senators in a bid to prevent major changes to the carried interest tax rate as the lawmakers begin to craft a reconciliation bill that could claw back or eliminate the tax break, Bloombergs Laura Davison and Sabrina Willmer report.
Thank you for representing a top state for private investment, the American Investment Council, a trade group representing the industry, says in an ad directed at Arizona Sens.Kyrsten Sinemaand Mark Kelly. Private-equity investment in Arizona totaled $11.6 billion in 2020, the ad says more than 3% of the states GDP for the year. The appeal, targeting 25 members of Congress, asks them to oppose policies that discourage private-equity investment code for the so-called carried interest tax break that Democrats have decried as favoring the wealthy. Other recipients of the groups appeals include Mark Warner of Virginia and Cory Bookerof New Jersey, states that have heavy private equity investment, while industry lobbyists are meeting with lawmakers in Washington and privately discussing ways to minimize changes to carried interest like a less drastic rate hike.
The tax break only narrowly survived Republicans 2017 tax overhaul thanks to lobbying by private equity. But privately, many executives are worried that the lobbying efforts will be of limited help, and have accepted the tax break will be eliminated or significantly pared back. Lobbyists are hoping Democrats will stop short of Bidens plan for a 39.6% top capital gains rate, and end up around 28% to 30%. They will seek to have that same rate applied to carried interest, the person familiar with the matter said.
ROBINHOOD SLAPPED WITH RECORD FINE FROM WALL STREET REGULATOR: Upstart online brokerage Robinhood has been ordered to pay nearly $70 million due to the apps outages last spring and for misleading its customers, theFinancial Industry Regulatory Authoritysaid today in announcing the organizations largest penalty ever. The brokerage was hit with a $57 million fine and ordered to pay another $12.6 million in restitution to its customers after multiple days of outages beginning in early March of 2020, leaving clients unable to trade equities, options or cryptocurrency,CNBCs Maggie Fitzgerald writes.
The platform remained offline during some of the highest volume trading days amid the fastest bear market in history and faced criticism over the death of a 20-year old trader who killed himself after believing he racked up huge losses on Robinhood, an episode mentioned in FINRAs announcement. The app has also since gone on a lobbying hiring spree while filling out its D.C. office with well-connected help, including two former FINRA execs, as it came under additional scrutiny due to the role it played in this winters retail trading frenzy.
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Chasseny Lewis is now chief of staff for Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). She was most recently director of U.S. public policy at Credit Suisse.
The Public Affairs Council has promoted Alaina Monismith to senior manager of communications and media relations. Monismith joined the Council in 2018.
Kiki Burger is now senior public relations manager at Epic, the digital reading platform for kids. She most recently was with Sunshine Sachs and is also the co-founder of Mor for Moms.
SPOTTED: At a Pride Month reception on Tuesday evening hosted by ACG Advocacy and Oracle at Oracles townhouse on Capitol Hill, according to a PI tipster: Dayanara Ramirez of Rep. Mark Takanos office; Laura Muñoz Lopez of Rep. Pete Aguilars office; Art Motta of Rep.Eric Swalwells office; Robert Edmonson of House SpeakerNancy Pelosis office; Nishith Pandya of Rep. Bobby Rushs office; Jeyben Castro of the House Office of Diversity and Inclusion; John Martin of Rep.Haley Stevens office; Miguel Ayala of Rep.Jan Schakowskys office; Pablo Sierra-Carmona of Sen.Kyrsten Sinemas office; Adrian Boafo of Oracle; and Roberto Fierro, Molly Allen and Joe Zanoni of ACG.
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New Joint Fundraisers
Protect The House Majority Victory Fund (Reps.Jared Golden, Cindy Axne, Andy Kim, Matt Cartwright, Elissa Slotkin)
1865 PAC (PAC)Full Throttle PAC (Super PAC)
New Lobbying Registrations
Advocate For Action: American Association Of Cardiovascular And Pulmonary RehabilitationAgora Consulting, LLC: International Downtown AssociationAkin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld: Synthetic Biology CoalitionAkin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld: Vr Capital GroupAlpha Strategies, LLC: Council On Pakistan RelationsBoundary Stone Partners: Rewiring AmericaBracewell LLP: DockatotBuchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Pc: Philadelphia Museum Of ArtCanopy Growth USA LLC: Canopy Growth USA LLCCapitol Counsel, LLC: Advantus Strategies On Behalf Of The City Of Richmond, VirginiaCapitol Counsel, LLC: Lgbt Life CenterCharles W. Scholz: Blessing Corporate ServicesConlon Public Strategies: Aunt Martha’s Health & WellnessConlon Public Strategies: Centers For New Horizons, Inc.Conlon Public Strategies: Power Solutions International (Psi)Conlon Public Strategies: ThresholdsEvgo: EvgoGreenberg Traurig, LLP: Austin Community College DistrictHutton Strategies: Wrap Technologies, Inc.Invariant LLC: Travelcenters Of America LLCK&L Gates LLP: Masten Space SystemsKnight Capitol Consultants: RegenxbioMccaulley&Company: Cuyahoga County Public LibraryMcguirewoods Consulting (A Subsidiary Of Mcguirewoods LLP): Global Plasma Solutions, Inc.Mcguirewoods Consulting (A Subsidiary Of Mcguirewoods LLP): PowerdmsMehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, Inc.: Teamster Members Retirement PlanMg Housing Strategies LLC: Silver Street Development CorporationPeyser Associates LLC: Trifiletti Consulting On Behalf Of City Of Inglewood, CaPeyser Associates LLC: Tri Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail AuthorityS-3 Group: First Five Action FundSc Partners LLC: Q HydrogenSubject Matter (Fka Elmendorf Ryan): Aunt Bertha
New Lobbying Terminations
Covington & Burling LLP: Ports-To-Plains Trade Corridor CoalitionGray & Oscar, LLC (Formerly Bob Gray, LLC): Agri-Mark IncGray & Oscar, LLC (Formerly Bob Gray, LLC): Dairy Farmers Of America IncGray & Oscar, LLC (Formerly Bob Gray, LLC): Upstate Niagara Cooperative IncYouth Villages, Inc: Youth Villages, Inc
A message from Obesity Care Advocacy Network:
100 million Americans are living with obesity, a chronic, complex disease that contributes to some of the leading causes of death. 78% of the people who were hospitalized, placed on a ventilator or died from COVID-19 were living with obesity, particularly impacting Black and Latinx people who suffer higher rates of obesity than White Americans.
Healthcare providers know obesity is a preventable and treatable disease, but our laws are behind. Despite a 2013 decision by the American Medical Association to recognize obesity as a complex, chronic disease that requires support to prevent and treat it, Medicare Part D has remained unchanged, preventing millions of people from accessing the full continuum of care for obesity. Join Obesity Care Now to urge the federal government to expand access to obesity care and pass the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA). Learn More.