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Former House VA Committee Chairman Back in DC as Lobbyist

Former Chairman of U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee Rep. Jeff Miller. Alex Wong/Getty Images
Former Chairman of U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee Rep. Jeff Miller. Alex Wong/Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- A former congressman known for his criticism of the Department of Veterans Affairs during Barack Obama's administration has returned to Washington, D.C., as a lobbyist, in part to advise on veterans' health care.

Jeff Miller, a former Republican congressman for Florida's first district, joined McDermott Will & Emery as a senior legislative adviser to work with the firm's lobbyists, the firm announced Monday.

McDermott Will & Emery is a law firm with a lobbying practice that represents private companies, nonprofits, trade associations and local, state and foreign governments.

Miller, who took office in 2001, served as chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee for six years before retiring at the end of 2016. As a lawmaker, he criticized former VA Secretary Bob McDonald's handling of problems within the VA. He focused on exposing fraud, abuse and waste within the agency and attempted to pass legislation to impose quicker punishments on poor-performing VA employees.

Besides the VA committee, Miller served eight years on the House Intelligence Committee and was a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee.

In his new role, Miller will also advise on defense and intelligence.

"His congressional experience will enhance our ability to serve clients in the health care, defense and intelligence industries, and he will provide our government contracting clients with valuable insights and comprehensive solutions to a wide range of complex issues," said Steve Ryan, who leads McDermott's Government Strategies practice.

Miller, 57, announced last March that he wouldn't seek reelection in 2016, stating it was "time to pass the torch."

According to federal statute, former representatives are banned for one year after their departure from lobbying members of Congress. However, Miller can lobby members of the executive branch and private-sector clients.

Miller publicly supported President Donald Trump in spring 2016. After Trump's election, Miller emerged as a potential candidate for VA secretary.

Ryan said Miller's familiarity with the Trump administration "will be of great value to clients."

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