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Moving On Up: Kara Getz Is Finance Committee’s New Tax Counsel | Hill Climbers

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., has hired veteran Capitol Hill staffer Kara Getz to be tax counsel on his panel. She comes from the office of Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., where she was legislative director and tax counsel. Neal is the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, so Getz shouldn’t have too much of a learning curve as she heads to the Senate’s tax-writing committee.

Before she worked for Neal, Getz was chief counsel for the Senate Aging Committee under then-Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis.; she has also worked as tax counsel for ex-Sen. Gordon H. Smith, R-Ore.

Her move comes at a pivotal time for Baucus and his committee. The longtime chairman is retiring at the end of this term, and he has made the long-elusive overhaul of the U.S. tax code a priority in the time left this year and next.

“Her years of experience advising members of Congress will be a real asset as the committee works to reform the nation’s tax code,” Baucus said in a statement announcing the hire.

Former Dingell Staffer Goes TCH

Dennis Fitzgibbons, a longtime aide for the House Energy and Commerce Committee under Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., is heading to the TCH Group as a partner.

Fitzgibbons, who worked at First Solar as vice president of federal affairs after leaving Energy and Commerce in 2009, worked for the committee under Dingell for 15 years, at times when the Dean of the House served as either chairman or ranking member of the powerful panel.

His first stint at Energy and Commerce lasted from 1988 through 2000, when he was deputy staff director. He worked as director of public policy at Daimler/Chrysler from 2000 to 2006 before returning to Energy and Commerce in 2007, when Democrats regained the majority in the House and Dingell reclaimed the gavel. He left again in 2009, after Dingell lost his bid to helm the committee in the 111th Congress to Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif.

“The issues our firm’s clients are primarily interested in are energy, health care, environment and telecommunications,” TCH Group managing partner Mike Tongour said in a release, stating that Energy and Commerce has jurisdiction over those issues.

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