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By Rebecca Ballhaus
The White House is set to announce as early as Tuesday that it has appointed Amy Swonger, a longtime lobbyist, to head up its Senate legislative affairs team, a senior administration official confirmed on Monday.
Ms. Swonger, a former congressional aide who once worked for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), has worked as a lobbyist at Heather Podesta & Partners since 2015, working on behalf of clients including Marathon Oil, Cigna Corp. and Swiss Reinsurance. In her previous post, at Ernst & Young, she lobbied on behalf of a number of health-care companies, including Aetna Inc. and Pfizer Inc.
Under the terms of President Donald Trump's executive order on ethics, Ms. Swonger is required to terminate her lobbying registration and won't be permitted to hold meetings with former clients at the White House for the next two years.
Ms. Swonger is the latest lobbyist addition to Mr. Trump's administration, despite the president's frequent pledges -- including at his rally in Louisville, Ky., on Monday evening -- to "drain the swamp." The National Economic Council late last month added several registered lobbyists, including oil and gas lobbyist Mike Catanzaro.
Ms. Swonger also becomes the latest Trump appointee who donated to his transition effort. On Dec. 7, she donated $5,000 to the transition fund.
"We're really excited to have Amy," said Marc Short, White House director of legislative affairs.
The White House will also this week announce four other additions to the Senate legislative affairs team: Virginia Boney, who currently serves as director of appropriations and projects for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.); Joseph Lai, senior legislative assistant to Sen. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.); Mary Elizabeth Taylor, a Senate cloakroom assistant; and Bethany Scully, who previously worked for former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.).
The White House announced its House legislative affairs team last month.
"The White House could have no better advocate than Amy Swonger to oversee Senate [Office of Legislative Affairs] operations," said Heather Podesta, the chief executive of Heather Podesta and Partners who was a major donor to Democrat Hillary Clinton during the campaign. "While it is bittersweet to see Amy leave the firm, she brings tenacity, savvy, and know-how to any team. The White House is lucky to have her."
Write to Rebecca Ballhaus at Rebecca.Ballhaus@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 20, 2017 22:08 ET (02:08 GMT)
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