The Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for legislative affairs, Drew Maloney, is planning to leave the Trump administration next week and is expected take a job leading the top trade association for private equity, according to people familiar with the move.
The American Investment Council’s board of directors still must vote on Maloney’s appointment. “Our board is in the process of hiring our new president and CEO, and we will announce their decision when it is final,” said Emily Schillinger, vice president of public affairs for the American Investment Council.
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Maloney was one of the key behind-the-scenes players to shepherd both the Republican tax bill and the recent banking deregulatory legislation through Congress, the latter of which sought to chip away at the Obama-era Dodd-Frank bill.
As a former House leadership aide, longtime lobbyist and head of legislative affairs for Mitt Romney’s presidential transition team, Maloney has deep experience in politics and ties throughout Washington, where he’s known as an affable honest broker.
“Drew was indispensable to passing the largest tax cut in American history,” said Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, who added that Maloney brought with him particularly strong relationships with House members.
For the Capitol Hill lawmakers and staffers, Maloney knew how to manage the concerns of the Trump administration, which was eager for its first big legislative win, and the nuances of the two chambers of Congress.
“Drew was the right person at the right time for tax reform. Because he understands the Hill particularly well, he knew that members needed the space to write bills that could get through the House and Senate,” said Brendan Dunn, a former policy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “He expertly navigated between a Congress that needed time and an administration that was anxious to get something done pronto.”
Inside the Treasury Department, Maloney has quickly become part of Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s tight inner circle. One Treasury colleague called Maloney’s political knowledge and networked “unmatched.” That certainly helped Mnuchin navigate some tricky political situations as a new resident of Washington.
“Drew’s departure would be a big loss for Treasury and for the administration and a big win for the council and the industry,” said Robert Kimmitt, a senior counsel at WilmerHale who served as deputy secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush and as general counsel of the Treasury during the passage of the 1986 tax reform bill under President Ronald Reagan. “He is just one of those people who has a reputation, which he has built over the last quarter of a century, of being experienced and very trusted on both sides of the aisle.”
Maloney is the latest staffer to depart the Trump administration in recent weeks, after the loss of staffers from the National Economic Council, National Security Council and the White House communications and press shop.
With little major legislation expected to pass before the midterms, several staffers involved in making or messaging policy have been eyeing the exits. And several Republican staffers from the Hill and the administration, who helped to write the tax bill, have recently left their posts to cash in on their expertise with lucrative K Street or private sector jobs.
The top position at the American Investment Council opened up in early May when Mike Sommers, the president and CEO of the group and a former chief of staff to Speaker John Boehner, was named as the incoming head of the American Petroleum Institute.
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