Stories From Washington’s Revolving Door

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The revolving doors in Washington spin especially quickly after elections: 79 new members of Congress will take their seats in January, and each one is selecting their staff. Meanwhile, 97 lawmakers have retired, resigned or lost their bids for reelection, and they — and their staff — are looking for work. Politicians are barred, by law, from lobbying their former colleagues within one or two years of leaving the Hill — but the law doesn’t prevent them from making introductions and opening doors for lobbyists in their new jobs. Here’s a look at some lawmakers and lobbyists who’ve made the switch from Capitol Hill to K Street, and vice versa, in the recent past.

Jason Altmire

Rep. Jason Altmire arrives to vote in the Pennsylvania primary election in April. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Rep. Jason Altmire, a Pennsylvania Democrat, lost his primary to Mark Critz earlier this year, but he found a new job as senior vice president of public policy, government and community affairs for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. The company was Altmire’s biggest contributor this cycle, donating $27,250 to his campaign; the pharmaceuticals and healthcare industries together donated $161,000, more than twice as much as any other interest group that supported Altmire. One of the defining votes of Altmire’s career as a Democratic politician was against Obamacare. Like Altmire, Blue Cross Blue Shield opposed Obamacare, even working with the American Legislative Exchange Council on state legislation aimed at invalidating the law.
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