Blueprint Communications made its first splash Tuesday, hiring veteran GOP communicator Lisa Camooso Miller as a partner at the new Republican public-relations firm.
The move is a coming-out of sorts for managing partners Jim Morrell and Chad Kolton, who quietly founded Blueprint in April after leaving public affairs firm HDMK. The news that Miller, a well-respected Washington insider, is joining the firm next month is sure to turn heads among K Street’s ultra-competitive consultant class.
Miller joins Blueprint from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, where she built the trade group’s earned media program as vice president of media affairs. Last year, Miller ran a political-style campaign in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia that helped make coal an issue in those battleground presidential campaign states. For years, ACCCE has been at the forefront of surround-sound communication campaigns that target lawmakers in Washington and at home.
In her new role, she’ll continue to work with ACCCE; she’s taking them on as a client.
All the firm’s partners have worked on the Hill and know the pressures staffers face, she said. It’s why at ACCCE, Miller, who has done communications for the House speaker, the Bush administration and the Republican National Committee, said she regularly sent recess kits and background material to the press secretaries of lawmakers interested in energy issues.
“She understands the Hill much better than most people do,” said Doug Heye, a deputy chief of staff for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. “That’s not just because of her jobs on the Hill in the speaker’s office or the RNC. After leaving the Hill, Lisa kept close tabs on what’s happening not just legislatively but with the people making the decisions.”
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"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”
The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.
President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.