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Capitol Hill Politics

Two former aides to Sen. Sinema lobbied to sway Biden’s agenda

WASHINGTON – Two former aides to Senator Kyrsten Sinema have lately lobbied for corporate behemoths seeking to sway President Joe Biden’s agenda.

Kate Gonzales and Alyssa Marois, two former Sinema staffers, appear to be uncommon examples of former Sinema staffers who have registered to lobby the federal government. Because their former employer, an Arizona Democrat, is a critical vote in a Congress split 50-50 by party, their position is extremely valuable to their clients.

Sinema and conservative Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have been key members of the Democratic-controlled Senate in recent months as their party attempts to pass initiatives such as Biden’s Build Back Better Act with a simple majority. Major legislation can be derailed by a single Democratic defection.

According to Senate regulations, Gonzales, a former Sinema staffer who became a lobbyist, will have to wait a year before lobbying Sinema’s office. Gonzales departed Sinema’s office in April after working for five months as a policy advisor, according to her LinkedIn page.

Her past work experience includes a year as a legislative staffer for Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema. Gonzales might continue to lobby other members of Congress and their staff.

Last year, Marois, who worked for Sinema’s office in the House of Representatives, was promoted to senior vice president of public affairs at HSBC. Her employment was announced in late September by the company. CNBC reports that She previously worked as a lobbyist for J.P. Morgan Chase, a Wall Street giant.

According to a third-quarter lobbying disclosure report covering July through September, Marois assisted HSBC in lobbying on proposals in which Sinema played a prominent role. The Build Back Better Act, which was passed by the House, the American Rescue Plan, which was signed last year, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was passed in 2020, are all mentioned in the study.

Sinema voted in support of the latter two bills but has not stated if she will support the Senate version of Build Back Better.

Many former MPs’ advisors go on to work as lobbyists. Ex-aides to Manchin have recently attracted powerful clients, including Hess, the media behemoth Comcast, and a foundation headed by a former campaign manager for Mike Bloomberg.

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