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Mike Johnson Tabs Pharma Lobbyist As Policy Director * * by Danielle

NEWS HEADLINES: Mike Johnson Tabs Pharma Lobbyist As Policy Director * * by Danielle

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House Speaker Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) has hired Washington D.C. lobbyist Dan Ziegler as his policy director.

Multiple outlets reported on Ziegler joining Johnson’s House Speaker office.

According to investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, Ziegler’s list of clients includes several pharmaceutical companies.

“News reports indicate that Dan Ziegler, a Washington lobbyist counting among his clients PhRMA, Pfizer, Merck, Sanofi, Eli Lilly and Amgen, will join House Speaker Mike Johnson’s office as policy director,” Attkisson writes.

Per Sharyl Attkisson:

Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that works on behalf of public interest in Washington previously published a report detailing the scope and magnitude of Pharma’s presence on Capitol Hill.

In response to Rep. Johnson’s recent hiring of Dan Ziegler, Public Citizen president Robert Weissman issued the following statement:

“It turns out that one of the biggest winners from the House Republican meltdown is Big Pharma. At a time when 90 percent of Americans are clamoring for more aggressive measures to clamp down on Big Pharma price gouging, the industry has managed to place one of their lobbyists as policy director in the Speaker’s office.

“This may be the greatest gift to Big Pharma since Rep. Billy Tauzin barred Medicare from negotiating drug prices – and then went on to head the industry trade association.

“Should the House fail to take up popular bipartisan drug pricing reforms that are anticipated to advance through the Senate, we will know a reason why, and know at least one person who likely is siding with industry to preserve drug corporation monopoly abuses and profiteering.

More from Robert Weissman’s statement at Public Citizen:

“This appointment puts to lie Speaker Johnson’s claim that he is a big believer in ‘free markets.’ He has just placed in charge of his policy shop a lobbyist for an industry whose business model is based on abusing monopoly power

“Speaker Johnson’s hire of pharma lobbyist Dan Ziegler is yet another example of how the revolving door enables corporations to derail the policies that Americans overwhelmingly favor, and underscores the need for reform to address the revolving door.

“Ziegler’s resume disqualifies him for the job. Speaker Johnson immediately should reverse this hire and find a policy director free of Big Pharma or corporate conflicts.”

Axios and POLITICO confirmed Ziegler’s hiring to Johnson’s House Speaker office.

Per Axios:

Speaker Mike Johnson has hired Dan Ziegler to be his policy director, Ziegler confirmed to Axios on Wednesday.

Ziegler has deep ties to the House GOP conference and has lobbied Congress on a huge slate of policy issues in recent years, including for pharmaceutical companies.

He staffed the Republican Study Committee when Johnson was the chair.

He later moved to Williams and Jensen, where he registered to lobby on behalf of large drugmakers including Novo

Nordisk, Sanofi, Pfizer, PhRMA, Eli Lilly and Amgen.

Ziegler also did a stint at Interior during the George W. Bush administration before becoming legislative director for Rep. Doug Lamborn.


Dan Ziegler is heading back to the Hill to rejoin his old boss Mike Johnson in the new House speaker’s office as his policy director, our Olivia Beavers reports. Ziegler was previously executive director of the conservative Republican Study Committee that Johnson chaired from 2019 to 2021, and he left the Hill in December to join Williams and Jensen as a principal.

— At the time, Johnson and two other current or former RSC leaders praised Ziegler as a trusted aide and lamented his departure in comments provided by the firm. Multiple lobbyists told PI last week that Ziegler remained one of Johnson’s closest allies on K Street.

— The Heritage Action and American Energy Alliance alum now lobbies for a range of health care clients, including Pfizer, Merck, Sanofi, Owens & Minor, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, PhRMA, Amgen and Elevance Health, in addition to companies like Visa, Vanguard Group, Bloom Energy and W Diamond Corporation.

“Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show that Ziegler made a $1,000 donation to Ron DeSantis for President in June 2023. There’s no public record of Ziegler donating to President Trump’s 2024 campaign,” investigative journalist Laura Loomer writes.

Via Loomer:

This assignment by Mike Johnson, plus his glowing accolades for Kevin McCarthy, cast doubt on Johnson’s status as an America First, MAGA Republican.

This is not the first time the two GOP operatives are working together. Ziegler was the executive director of the Republican Study Committee, while Johnson was its chair from 2019 to 2021. Since his time with the RSC ended, Ziegler has been busy as a lobbyist for Williams and Jensen with a long list of nefarious clients.

Politico reports that Ziegler lobbied for many Big Pharma corporations, including Pfizer, Merk, Snofi, Owens & Minor, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, PhRMA, Amgen, and Elevance Health. Ziegler isn’t just in bed with Big Pharma. He also lobbied for financial giants Visa and Vanguard Group.

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