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DeLauro’s Appropriations panel staff director heads downtown

Key aide departs for a lobbying firm

DeLauro conducts a  House Appropriations Committee markup on June 29, 2021.
DeLauro conducts a House Appropriations Committee markup on June 29, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Robin Juliano, Democratic staff director on the House Appropriations Committee for the past two years, is leaving for the private sector.

Juliano is going to work for lobbying firm Cornerstone Government Affairs, which is stocked with Capitol Hill and appropriations veterans. Juliano took over as Democratic staff director when then-House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., won the gavel after the 2020 elections.

In a statement, DeLauro said Juliano will be leaving the committee in early March.

“Robin’s wisdom, experience, and knowledge of both the policy and the politics were integral to our committee’s success both over the last two years and throughout her tenure on our team,” DeLauro said. “She is a trusted advisor and a dear friend. I am grateful for Robin; we are all better off because of her sacrifice and tireless efforts to help communities across the country.”

Juliano’s departure follows that of her deputy, Matt Washington, who left at the end of last year. Washington went to the Boeing Co. to handle the huge aircraft manufacturer’s appropriations portfolio, after a 15-year stint working for House Appropriations.

DeLauro’s top aide or “clerk” on the Defense Subcommittee, Chris Bigelow, is moving up to become the full committee’s Democratic staff director.

“Chris is a seasoned professional who is ready to guide the committee as we move into the 118th Congress. He is a proven leader and an expert of the appropriations process,” DeLauro said. “I am lucky to have him in this role and look forward to all we will accomplish together in the years to come.”

Jennifer Chartrand, who’s currently a professional staff member on the Defense panel, will succeed Bigelow.

The departures of Juliano and Washington follow Democrats losing the House majority.

Observers familiar with the departures said leaving the committee for lobbying jobs will provide a bigger paycheck and potentially more time to spend with family. The job of staff director of the Appropriations panel is one of the most demanding on the Hill.

Juliano has served as staff director since January 2021, previously working as clerk of the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee under DeLauro and a professional staff member going back to 2017. She worked for the panel earlier in 2015 but then went to work for the National Economic Council as senior policy adviser in the last year of Barack Obama’s presidency. Prior to going to the House, she worked for the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Bigelow has been at the House Appropriations Committee for eight years, with the last two as clerk of the Defense Subcommittee and before that as deputy staff director and professional staff member. He earlier served as legislative director for former House Appropriations Chair Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., and before that as her legislative assistant.

Washington’s House Appropriations career included stints serving as the clerk of the Military Construction-VA and Legislative Branch subcommittees, and earlier as a staffer on the Defense panel.

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