Posts Tagged ‘Mary Landrieu’

Keystone and K Street

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 by Matthew Barnes

THE SENATE FAILED TO PASS LEGISLATION which would approve the construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. The bill was narrowly defeated 59-41 in a vote Tuesday. The legislation needed to reach the 60 vote supermajority threshold in order for it to be passed.

The failure of the legislation to pass could be a fatal blow to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) who faces an uphill battle in her reelection campaign which will be decided by a December 6 run-off election. Her challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and his campaign wasted no time in using the bill’s defeat writing in an email, “Senator Mary Landrieu’s failure to pass the Keystone XL Pipeline this evening is a perfect snapshot of her time as Chair of the Energy Committee – a failure…Conversely, Dr. Cassidy passed the Keystone pipeline out of the House last week with wide bi-partisan support.”

A failed re-election bid by Sen. Landrieu would be another blow to the Democratic Party, which suffered a disastrous Mid-Term Election cycle in which Republicans won the majority in the Senate and have so far gained 8 seats in the Senate. Democrats now have only 44 seats in the Senate including Sen. Landrieu, while the Republicans have 53.

The change in control of the Senate has also brought about with it some changes on K Street. Lobbyists with ties to prominent Republicans stand to gain significant influence in the new congress. According to The Hill, “Lobbyists whose stock is about to skyrocket include those with ties to new leadership on the Banking, Finance, Judiciary, Commerce and Energy committees, all of which business groups will be watching closely in the next Congress.”

Moreover, the soon-to-be Majority Leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated, that when he takes over the leadership of the Senate, he will make its “committees more active, thereby making chairmen more powerful — and connected K Streeters even more valuable.”

A Red November

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 by Matthew Barnes

Despite many close races in the 2014 Mid -Term Elections, Republicans have exceeded expectations. The GOP has become the majority party in the Senate with 52 out of 100 seats and added cushioning to their control of the House with 243 out of 435 seats so far. The Republican Party will seek to increase its control of the Senate on December 6th, when a run-off vote is scheduled for the Louisiana Senate race between Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

The competitiveness of many of the elections, POLITICO reports, drove some candidates, such as (then) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), to enact an “all hands on deck” approach for the final stages of the campaign, reaching out to his extended network of allies and former staffers seeking as many volunteers as possible. Many of the people who answered Sen. McConnell’s call to volunteer, such as Hunter Bates, are former members of Sen. McConnell’s staff and are now lobbyists. Mr. Bates was formerly Chief of Staff to Sen. McConnell before co-founding the lobbying firm Republic Consulting.

Nevertheless, the effect the resounding GOP victory in this election will have on the lobbying industry remains to be seen. However, lobbyists with ties to prominent Republicans, like Steve Clark (founding partner at ClarkGeduldigCranford & Nielsen), are very optimistic about the future, saying “If the Republicans take the Senate in November, we feel like our firm, with key House and Senate ties, is as well-positioned as any.”

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