House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is bringing in an old GOP hand as his top aide, part of the California Republican’s attempt to win back the House in 2020.
McCarthy has hired Dan Meyer, a top Republican lobbyist and former senior aide to ex-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), as his chief of staff. Meyer was also White House director of legislative affairs under former President George W. Bush.
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“Dan Meyer has spent his career helping shape conservative Republican policy solutions and lead the fight for them every day,” McCarthy said in a statement announcing the hiring. “From his time working with Speaker Gingrich and the Republican Revolution that won the House to leading to President George W. Bush’s legislative affairs operation to his continued support for Members and staff through the Congressional Institute, Dan is wholly committed to the cause.”
Meyer will replace Barrett Karr, McCarthy’s chief of staff for the last two years. Karr is leaving Congress to join a private-equity firm.
“I am humbled and excited to join Leader McCarthy and his outstanding team,” Meyer said. “I look forward to working every day to implement Kevin’s vision and earn the trust of the American people that our country is best served with a House Republican majority solving the most pressing issues of our time.”
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Meyer is a Minnesota native who first came to Washington in 1981 as an aide to former Sen. Rudy Boschwitz (R-Minn.), eventually rising to legislative director. In late 1986, Meyer moved to the other side of the Capitol to become chief of staff to former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.).
When Gingrich was elected GOP whip in 1989, Meyer jumped to the Republican leadership. Meyer helped draft the “Contract with America,” a key plan in the Republicans’ takeover of the House that year, and then served as a contact person for House Republicans with the Clinton White House. Two years later, Meyer moved to K Street, becoming a partner with the Duberstein Group, a blue-chip lobbying firm. Meyer is now president of the company, whose clients include the Alibaba Group, oil giant BP, Major League Baseball, Pharma, and Pfizer, among others.
In early 2007, Bush picked Meyer to become the White House liaison on Capitol Hill. Meyer held the post for nearly two years, and then returned to the Duberstein Group when Bush left office.
“Dan Meyer played a key role in developing the Contract with America and in helping lead the House Republicans out of 40 years in the minority wilderness. He went on to be a superb legislative liaison for President George W. Bush,” Gingrich said in his own statement. “It shows Kevin McCarthy’s determination to regain the majority that he would recruit someone of Dan’s capabilities. It shows Dan’s belief in the McCarthy vision that he would come back to the Hill.”
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