The top congressional offices for K Street paydays

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Breanna Deutsch Contributor
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Working in a congressional office can have its perks, sometimes eventually reaching six figures.

The nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation found that former congressional staffers who take jobs as lobbyists make considerably more than the average lobbyist with no government attachments, showing the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street.

According to the study, both former staffers who list their previous congressional office and Hill alumni who choose not to advertise that information make substantially more than the average contract lobbyist.

Between 1998 and 2012, the median revolving door lobbyist who disclosed his congressional office earned $87,680 more than the median revolver who did not. In 2006, the difference was a little more than $122,000.

As of 2012, the median salary for a lobbyist who listed their former place of Hill employment is slightly above $300,000 and a former Hill staffer who did not reveal this information takes in around $280,000. Lobbyists with no government experience barely make it past six figures.

Here are the top five congressional offices that brought in the highest annual median salary per lobbyist between 1998 and 2012:

  1. Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer: $641,095
  2. Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill First: $630,619
  3. Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus $576,275
  4. Mississippi Republican Sen. Trent Lott: $418,268
  5. Louisiana Democratic Sen. John Breaux: $415,433

Hoyer was House Democratic leader, Lott and Frist Senate Republican leaders. Baucus chairs the Senate Finance Committee, on which Breaux once served.

Some congressional offices have established larger footprints on K Street than others.

Here are the top five offices with the most former staffers-turned-lobbyists:

  1. Pennsylvania Democratic and Republican Sen. Arlen Specter : 27
  2. Mississippi Republican Sen. Trent Lott: 25
  3. Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy: 21
  4. Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Frist: 20
  5. Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison: 19

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