Former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), recently retired after serving three terms in the Senate and four terms in the House, has landed a new job in Washington as a lawyer and future lobbyist for Covington & Burling.
The firm announced Kyl's arrival on Wednesday by touting his previous service on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, the central tax writing committee in Congress' upper chamber, and noting that he will help clients navigate the "policy aspects" of tax, health care, national security, defense and intellectual property. Kyl was most recently the second most powerful member of the Senate Republican caucus, serving as the minority whip.
"This is an exciting opportunity to launch a new chapter in my career at one of the most prestigious firms in the world," Kyl said in a statement. "I look forward to working with corporate clients to find solutions that will help their businesses grow."
"Senator Kyl is widely respected on both sides of the aisle for his superb judgment, the breadth of his policy expertise, and his ability to forge win-win solutions on even the most complex and challenging issues," Dan Bryant, chair of Covington & Burling's public policy and government affairs practice, said in a statement.
The spin through the revolving door between government and the influence industry is a biennial rite for lawmakers leaving Congress. Already, former Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) has joined law and lobbying firm Bracewell & Giuliani, and former Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has taken over at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Under ethics laws, former legislators are not allowed to lobby the government for two years following their exit from Congress. They may, however, lead lobbying teams in a managerial role and use their connections and contacts to direct a firm's lobbyists on how best to target Congress or the executive branch to benefit their clients.
Covington & Burling's lobbying clients in 2012 included a host of pharmaceutical companies -- Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Sunovion -- as well as the industry's trade group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. The firm also earned $1.47 million for its lobbying work on behalf of the communications company Qualcomm last year.