Andrew Wheeler’s rise to acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency is only the latest case of a former lobbyist finding an influential role within the Trump administration.
In January 2017, Trump signed an executive order banning former lobbyists appointed to the administration from participating in policy discussions they had lobbied on within the past two years. The order also placed a five-year ban on former Trump appointees lobbying after leaving the administration.
Wheeler, a former energy lobbyist who was confirmed as the EPA’s deputy administrator in April, is one of 78 former lobbyists appointed by Trump, according to a comprehensive list of current and former lobbyists with ties to the Trump administration recently published by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The searchable database includes the 78 current Trump staffers and 11 former staffers now working as lobbyists. The page includes the names of staffers, their current or former positions and their most recent private-sector employer.
Each of the 89 “revolving door” lobbyists has a link to their profile page, which shows their annual activity on behalf of organizations, policy issues and bills.
The data show former lobbyists in various roles throughout the federal bureaucracy and often working for agencies they once lobbied, which appears counter to the spirit of Trump’s edict.
Current staffers include a former lobbyist and lawyer with the American Petroleum Institute at the EPA (Erik Baptist), a National Rifle Association lobbyist in the Interior Department (Ben Cassidy) and an American Airlines lobbyist leading the Federal Aviation Administration (Dan Elwell).
Lobbyists were appointed to positions at over 40 different federal agencies and departments, including chiefs of staff roles at the Department of Health and Human Services (Lance Leggitt), the Department of Homeland Security (Chad Wolf) and the Office of Management and Budget (Emma King Doyle).
Nine former lobbyists hold positions at Health and Human Services, the most among federal departments. Five were appointed to the EPA, including Wheeler, good for second most. Another three each work at the Commerce and Interior departments.
The database also includes former members of the Trump administration now in the private sector, including seven members of his presidential transition team working as registered lobbyists at law firms or trade organizations. (The executive order only applied to those appointed on or after Jan. 20, 2017.)
Another is Lauren Maddox, with the firm Holland & Knight, who had lobbied on dozens of education-related bills and issues in the five years before joining Trump’s transition team as a Department of Education advisor in 2016.
Learn more about the current and former lobbyists appointed by Trump at CRP’s revolving door page.