REPORT: Former Top Sinema Staffers Have Worked For Opponents Of Biden Build Back Better Agenda
Washington, D.C. — An analysis from government watchdog Accountable.US reveals that a former top staffer of Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) went on to be a top lobbyist for JPMorgan Chase & Co. until as recently as July 2021. JPMorgan has given Sinema tens of thousands in campaign contributions and has emerged as one of the Biden Build Back Better agenda’s key opponents, particularly on the corporate tax fairness front. It comes as congressional negotiations have intensified over the Biden agenda that will lower costs for families and ensure wealthy corporations pay their fair share – an effort Sinema has threatened to derail.
Additionally, another former top Sinema staffer has gone on to work for corporate lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, which recently hired the Republican Senate Finance Committee’s “Chief Tax Counsel” who helped develop and write the 2017 Trump tax cuts.
“With the Biden Build Back Better plan poised to give millions of struggling families a chance to get ahead, there’s too much at stake for this process to get mucked up and watered down with typical Washington revolving door corporate influence and money,” said Accountable.US president Kyle Herrig. “We hope Senator Sinema is ultimately guided by the overwhelming public sentiment in favor of corporations paying their fair share and investments that will build an economy for all, not just billion-dollar businesses.”
Accountable.US also recently found that Sinema has taken at least $923,000 from the industry groups leading the lobbying blitz against the Biden Build Back Better agenda, or from the individual corporations these groups represent. Both nationally and in Arizona, voters overwhelmingly support the major provisions of the Biden BBB agenda, including a huge bipartisan majority that support the pay-fors in the budget reconciliation plan. A Hart Research poll found 57% of Arizona voters back the BBB Act after hearing a brief description of it, “including that it would cost $3.5 trillion spread over 10 years.”
KEY FINDINGS FROM ACCOUNTABLE.US:
- Sen. Sinema’s former Legislative Director and Senior Policy Advisor Alyssa Marois became a top lobbyist for JPMorgan, recently leaving the position in the summer of 2021. Marois has been identified as JPMorgan’s Vice President of Federal Government Relations as recently as October 2020 and as its “Government Relations Mgr” in the bank’s July 2021 FEC filing. A job description notes that her Vice President role includes “managing federal legislative issues” and engaging policymakers “at the highest levels of government.”
- Marois was busy lobbying on behalf of JPMorgan since the start of the Biden administration, a period in which the bank spent $1.37 million trying to influence lawmakers. As the bank disclosed focusing on “corporate tax issues,” Marois repeatedly appeared in the same reports directly lobbying on issues where the banking industry had been at odds with the Biden agenda, including consumer protection, bank regulation, and the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Additionally, Sinema’s recent Policy Advisor Kate Gonzales has gone to corporate lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, which recently hired the Republican Senate Finance Committee’s “Chief Tax Counsel” who helped develop and write the 2017 Trump tax cuts. At Brownstein, Gonzales has lobbied for corporations pushing for anti-environmental projects, just as the Build Back Better agenda seeks to establish significant environmental reforms.
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