When news came out that former U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany has signed on with a Washington lobbying firm, my first thought was that it would really be news if he hadn't.
In going to work for Capitol Counsel, Boustany, who left Congress earlier this year after falling short in his bid for U.S. Senate, is following a lucrative path forged by former senators Mary Landrieu, John Breaux and J. Bennett Johnston, former U.S. Reps. Bob Livingston, Billy Tauzin, Richard Baker and more — and most recently traveled by David Vitter, who didn't run for reelection last year and who had already announced he'd join the lobbying ranks.
Former U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany has joined the Capitol Counsel Washington, D.C., lobbying firm.
In fact, Boustany's new job will have the Lafayette Republican working alongside another onetime Louisiana Congressman, Jim McCrery, one of the firm's partners. Both are tax code specialists who rose through the ranks on the House Ways and Means Committee, so they should pack quite a one-two punch.
Boustany's announcement also puts to rest the possibility that he might join the Trump administration, at least in the near term.
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Some Louisiana officials, led by U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, had tried to push him for the job as U.S. Trade Representative. Boustany's generally a free trader, so appointing him would have openly conflicted with President Donald Trump's anti-trade campaign rhetoric (not that that sort of thing is a deal killer these days, given how many Goldman Sachs veterans have landed in Trump's inner circle since he excoriated Hillary Clinton for her amply-compensated closed-door speeches for the financial firm). But it would have been good for trade-dependent Louisiana.
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With both Vitter and Boustany spoken for, the only question is whether the third member to leave the state's delegation this year will join them. John Fleming, a Republican from Minden who also ran for Vitter's seat, has yet to announce his future plans. This could mean that he still hopes to join the new administration, perhaps as head of FEMA — although some powerful state officials are pushing Trump to appoint another Louisianan, former Louisiana Recovery Authority and Jindal administration official Paul Rainwater, instead.
Fleming has met with the Trump team but has not provided more details. If he eventually comes out with an announcement like Boustany's, we'll know how that all worked out.