In the News

Bloomberg BNA: Spending on Health Lobbying Spikes Under Trump | April 24, 2017

By Alex Ruoff

Overhauling the ACA has dominated the health agenda on Capitol Hill since Donald Trump became president, Jennifer Higgins, a partner and health lobbyist at Chamber Hill Strategies, told Bloomberg BNA. Lawmakers have been so focused on repealing and replacing the health law that they have had little appetite for other health reforms.

“The AHCA in my opinion is this cloud that hangs over health-care policy as long as the president and Republicans want to keep it alive,” Higgins said, referring to the ACA overhaul bill House Republicans are debating.

Republicans in the House have spent much of this year trying to replace the ACA. Lawmakers tried and failed to bring their ACA bill, the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628), to the House floor for a vote in March and have been debating new amendments to the legislation ever since, hoping the conference can come to agreement.

Reviving the AHCA over and over again with debates over new amendments may keep Congress from moving on to other health issues, such as authorizing new money for CHIP, the public health insurance program for children, and tackling rising drug prices, Higgins said.

Lobbyists Resetting Trump Expectations | April 12, 2017

By Megan R. Wilson

“We’ve pivoted from a reform agenda to a reauthorization agenda,” said Jenn Higgins, a partner at Chamber Hill Strategies, who specializes in healthcare policy. “We thought this was going to be the year that big things would get done.”

The focus is now reauthorizing big, established healthcare programs, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, Higgins said.

“If there are opportunities for policy developments, you’re going to have to play on the edges of those issues,” she said, adding that the Department of Health and Human Services, run by former Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), is already having listening sessions with lobbyists and stakeholders.

“If AHCA is not the policy goal, our focus and our energy will be on regulatory and administrative policy development,” Higgins said, referring to the GOP’s healthcare bill, the American Health Care Act.

CQ Weekly Influencers: In Brief | March 27, 2017

Kyle Sanders is now a principal at lobbying firm Chamber Hill Strategies. He was most recently North Carolina GOP Rep. David Rouzer’s legislative director and counsel.

The Hill: Lobbying World | March 14, 2017

Chamber Hill Strategies brought on two Republicans: Eric Schmutz, former deputy chief of staff for Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), and Kyle Sanders, a former legislative director and counsel for Rep. David Rouzer (R-N.C.). Schmutz also served in the George W. Bush administration as the director of legislative affairs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

POLITICO Playbook | March 14, 2017

By Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman

Kyle Sanders is joining D.C. government affairs firm Chamber Hill Strategies as a principal; he previously was legislative director and counsel for Rep. David Rouzer (R-N.C.). Eric Schmutz joined the firm as principal last week; he most recently was legislative director and deputy COS for Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kans.).

The Hill: Healthcare Groups Unload on GOP Bill | March 9, 2017

By Megan R. Wilson

But the lobbying right now is primarily focused on the House, said Jennifer Bell, the co-founder of Chamber Hill Strategies, who has worked for Republicans on both health and tax-writing committees.

“The next two weeks or three weeks is make or break. If it passes the House, how it passes can be very indicative of what a strategy might be in the Senate,” she said.

National Journal | March 9, 2017

Carousel: Eric Schmutz to Chamber Hill Strategies

For Eric Schmutz, a former House staffer and health care and tax expert, the timing couldn’t be better. Just as the House begins to consider health care legislation, Schmutz has joined Chamber Hill Strategies, the boutique political consultancy with a health care focus. Schmutz served as legislative director and deputy chief of staff for Rep. Lynn Jenkins of Kansas, who is a Ways and Means Committee member. He was legislative director for former Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia. He spent seven years working in George W. Bush’s administration.

Roll Call: Staffer Shuffle | March 9, 2017

By Alex Gangitano

Eric Schmutz is now a principal at the government affairs firm, Chamber Hill Strategies. He was previously legislative director and deputy chief of staff for Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan.

POLITICO Influence | March 8, 2017

By Theodoric Meyer

JENKINS AIDE HEADS TO CHAMBER HILL: Eric Schmutz, a former deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), is joining Chamber Hill Strategies as a principal. Before heading to Jenkins’ office in 2009, he worked for HUD. Jenkins, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, has said she won’t run for reelection.

Schmutz plans to focus initially on health care, he said in an interview after stepping out from the Ways and Means Committee’s markup of the Speaker Paul Ryan’s health care bill. How does he see the bill moving forward amid significant opposition from the most conservative Republicans? “The advice I would give my colleagues is to be prepared for anything,” Schmutz said. “Every avenue of it is under discussion. … A major bill like this isn’t going to happen until it does happen.”