Deloitte Picks Up Tom Davis

Posted November 17, 2008 at 6:33pm

Residents of Northern Virginia’s 11th district will have to make due with the Clerk of the House for the duration of 2008, rather than Rep. Tom Davis (R), who is expected to begin his retirement next week.

In a statement issued Monday, Deloitte Consulting announced that Davis would begin work at the firm next week, although the Virginian has yet to announce his departure date. Davis’ one-year ban on lobbying the House and Senate will kick in as soon as he resigns.

A late-November departure would leave the office vacant for about six weeks before the House convenes the 111th Congress in early January.

Although it is technically possible for the Virginia Board of Elections to schedule a special election to fill Davis’ vacancy until Rep.-elect Gerry Connolly (D) is sworn in on Jan. 6, it is highly unlikely given the short time frame. Besides, with the House expecting to adjourn sine die at the end of the week, it would complicate the swearing-in of any successor.

In the meantime, the Clerk of the House will take over day-to-day operations of the 11th district office as soon as Davis officially steps down.

Under House rules, any vacant office — caused by a Member’s death, resignation or expulsion — continues to operate on a nonpartisan basis, albeit performing only basic functions such as constituent casework and answering mail.

While the “vacant” offices provide constituent services, aides do not respond to press inquires and can provide only general information about a bill’s status in Congress. Any inquiries seeking further analysis or information about a bill or general topic are redirected across the Capitol to the appropriate state’s Senate offices.

The Clerk has so far dealt with 13 vacancies during the 110th Congress.

A source close to Davis who asked not to be identified said the Virginian does not expect to recuse himself from any votes during the final days of the 110th Congress.

“We’ll definitely look at it very closely to make sure there’s not a conflict of interest,” the source said. “We’ve checked with [the House] ethics [panel] every step of the way.”

According to the source, Davis did, however, formally notify the Clerk about his negotiations with Deloitte, where he will work in the firm’s federal government services division.

Under the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, Members are required to file notice about negotiations with a potential employer. A lawmaker is exempted from doing so only if a successor has been elected to his or her seat.

Those documents are not publicly released, however, unless a Member files a secondary notice to recuse himself from voting.

Deloitte has spent more than $1.2 million lobbying as of the end of September, according to Senate lobbying disclosure records.

Anna Palmer contributed to this report.