Two GOP Reps Who Retired In 2018 Join DC Lobbying Firm

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Two former Republican representatives who retired in 2018 have decided to stay in Washington, D.C., both joining a big name lobbying firm Monday.

The Akin Gump, a well-known lobbying firm with offices across the world, sent out a joint press release, addressing both of its new hires, former Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and former Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, who will both be joining the firm’s D.C. office, which focuses on “business, law and policy.”

“As a firm that operates at the intersection of business, law and policy, we recognize the valuable skills, knowledge and perspectives that Reps. Ros-Lehtinen and Smith bring to our clients,” Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith said in a statement on the firm’s website. “They will be great additions to our top-tier policy practice, and I am very proud to welcome two individuals with such long and distinguished careers on Capitol Hill to the firm.”

Ros-Lehtinen said she hopes to continue on the work she accomplished in Congress by working for the lobbying firm, mentioning trade matters and its domestic and foreign client base.

“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. “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.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is joined by more than a dozen Republican members of Congress as she speaks during a news conference about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program at the U.S. Capitol Nov. 9, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Smith echoed a similar message, saying he is looking forward to working for the firm, mentioning Akin Gump’s ability to handle public policy and legal issues.

“Beyond Akin Gump’s outstanding public policy practice, the firm’s lawyers and advisors enjoy an excellent reputation for having broad and deep skills and experience that enable them to serve clients on nearly any subject imaginable. 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 statement.

This comes just days after news broke that former Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy would be joining Nelson Mullins, a South Carolina-based law and lobbying firm. (RELATED: Here Is What’s Next For Trey Gowdy)

Both Ros-Lehtinen and Smith announced they would not be seeking re-election in 2017.

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