For-profit

Ricchetti Incorporated

Type:

For Profit Lobbying Firm

Founders:

Jeff Ricchetti and Steve Ricchietti

Owner:

Jeff Ricchetti

Formation:

2001

Ricchetti Incorporated is a lobbying firm owned by Jeff Ricchetti that represents major corporate clients. It was previously co-owned by Jeff’s brother Steve Ricchetti, now a senior White House advisor to President Joe Biden.

Background

Ricchetti Incorporated is a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C. connected to the Democratic Party and founded by brothers Steve and Jeff Ricchetti. Ricchetti Incorporated has focused on lobbying in several areas, including federal budgetary policy, energy issues, national defense, banking regulations, labor regulations, and healthcare. [1]

Steve Ricchetti was a former Deputy Chief of Staff in the Clinton White House in the 1990s under then-Chief of Staff John Podesta. [2] In the late 1990s, Jeff Ricchetti was a lobbyist for the Podesta Group, John Podesta’s lobbying firm. [3]

In 2001, Jeff and Steve Ricchetti founded Ricchetti Incorporated. The firm’s first client was the American Council of Life Insurers. [4]

Steve Ricchetti left Ricchetti Incorporated in 2012 to work as counsel for then-Vice President Joe Biden. Jeff Ricchetti continued running the lobbying firm. The two brothers have reportedly agreed not to talk about lobbying issues since that point. [5]

After the Obama administration ended, Steve Ricchetti worked in a consulting job for AT&T, but not as a lobbyist. He remained in that position until he went to work for Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign in September 2020. [6]

Lobbying Interests

Ricchetti Incorporated’s early clients included the American Bankers Association, the American Hospital Association, defense contractor United Technologies, and the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting. [7] Ricchetti Incorporated has represented numerous pharmaceutical companies, including Eli Lily, Novartis, and Pfizer. [8]

California-based software firm Applied Materials hired Ricchetti Inc. in August 2020 to represent the company on issues related to U.S.-China relations, including softening trade relations. Applied Materials has done business in China since 1984. [9]

The firm’s clients increased after Steve Ricchetti became a top advisor to the Biden 2020 presidential campaign. In the eight years before Joe Biden won the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, the firm registered six new clients. [10] After Biden was elected president in November 2020, he named Steve Ricchetti as his White House Senior Counselor. [11] Between the time President Biden won the nomination and late 2020, after President Biden won and announced that Steve Ricchetti would be working in the White House, the firm registered seven new clients. [12]

New clients that Jeff Ricchetti attained after President Biden won the Democratic Party nomination included Eagle Pharmaceuticals; Horizon Therapeutics; Neurocrine Biosciences; and GlaxoSmithKline, a company that is was working on a COVID-19 vaccine. [13] Days after Biden’s victory, e-commerce giant Amazon hired Ricchetti Incorporated to lobby exclusively on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and federal relief dollars. [14] Evofem Biosciences hired Ricchetti Incorporated on November 15 to lobby for federal health policies related to contraceptive coverage. [15]

Ricchetti Incorporated also lobbies for Vaxart, a California-based pharmaceutical company. Vaxart hired Ricchetti to lobby on regulatory policies that included vaccine development and funding. [16] While Ricchetti represented the company, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) opened an investigation into Vaxart for allegedly inflating its role in Operation Warp Speed, the federal program to expedite the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. [17]

The Department of Health and Human Services said Vaxart did not receive funding for vaccine development, but Vaxart said in a June press release that its oral COVID-19 vaccine was selected to participate in a study organized by Operation Warp Speed. [18]

References

  1. Carney, Timothy. “Team Obama Hires Lobbyist Again, Ethics be Damned.” Washington Examiner. March 11, 2012. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/team-obama-hires-lobbyist-again-ethics-be-damned ^
  2. Staff. “Bottom Line.” The Hill. July 28, 2008. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/3686-bottom-line ^
  3. Carney, Timothy. “Team Obama Hires Lobbyist Again, Ethics be Damned.” Washington Examiner. March 11, 2012. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/team-obama-hires-lobbyist-again-ethics-be-damned ^
  4. Carney, Timothy. “Team Obama Hires Lobbyist Again, Ethics be Damned.” Washington Examiner. March 11, 2012. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/team-obama-hires-lobbyist-again-ethics-be-damned ^
  5. Scherer, Michael. “Potential Family Conflicts Arise for Joe Biden and Aides as His Administration Drafts New Ethics Rules.” The Washington Post. December 14, 2020. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-transition-ethics-trump/2020/12/13/dcee6e3e-3b2d-11eb-9276-ae0ca72729be_story.html ^
  6. Scherer, Michael. “Potential Family Conflicts Arise for Joe Biden and Aides as His Administration Drafts New Ethics Rules.” The Washington Post. December 14, 2020. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-transition-ethics-trump/2020/12/13/dcee6e3e-3b2d-11eb-9276-ae0ca72729be_story.html ^
  7. Carney, Timothy. “Team Obama Hires Lobbyist Again, Ethics be Damned.” Washington Examiner. March 11, 2012. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/team-obama-hires-lobbyist-again-ethics-be-damned ^
  8. Bradford, Betz. “Biden Advisor’s Brother Lobbying for Drugmaker Under Federal Probe.” Fox News. December 17, 2020. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-advisers-brother-lobbying-drugmaker-under-federal-investigation ^
  9. Ross, Chuck.  “Firm Linked to Top Biden Advisor is Lobbying to Soften U.S. Trade Policy Towards China.” The Daily Caller. November 18, 2020. Accessed January 9, 2021. ^
  10. Scherer, Michael. “Potential Family Conflicts Arise for Joe Biden and Aides as His Administration Drafts New Ethics Rules.” The Washington Post. December 14, 2020. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-transition-ethics-trump/2020/12/13/dcee6e3e-3b2d-11eb-9276-ae0ca72729be_story.html ^
  11. Castronuovo, Celine. “Brother of Biden Adviser Ricchetti Hired as Lobbyist at Amazon.” The Hill. December 26, 2020. The Hill. https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/531721-brother-of-bidens-white-house-counselor-hired-as-lobbyist-at-amazon ^
  12. Scherer, Michael. “Potential Family Conflicts Arise for Joe Biden and Aides as His Administration Drafts New Ethics Rules.” The Washington Post. December 14, 2020. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-transition-ethics-trump/2020/12/13/dcee6e3e-3b2d-11eb-9276-ae0ca72729be_story.html ^
  13. Scherer, Michael. “Potential Family Conflicts Arise for Joe Biden and Aides as His Administration Drafts New Ethics Rules.” The Washington Post. December 14, 2020. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-transition-ethics-trump/2020/12/13/dcee6e3e-3b2d-11eb-9276-ae0ca72729be_story.html ^
  14. Castronuovo, Celine. “Brother of Biden Adviser Ricchetti Hired as Lobbyist at Amazon.” The Hill. December 26, 2020. The Hill. https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/531721-brother-of-bidens-white-house-counselor-hired-as-lobbyist-at-amazon ^
  15. Castronuovo, Celine. “Brother of Biden Adviser Ricchetti Hired as Lobbyist at Amazon.” The Hill. December 26, 2020. The Hill. https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/531721-brother-of-bidens-white-house-counselor-hired-as-lobbyist-at-amazon ^
  16. Bradford, Betz. “Biden Advisor’s Brother Lobbying for Drugmaker Under Federal Probe.” Fox News. December 17, 2020. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-advisers-brother-lobbying-drugmaker-under-federal-investigation ^
  17. Bradford, Betz. “Biden Advisor’s Brother Lobbying for Drugmaker Under Federal Probe.” Fox News. December 17, 2020. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-advisers-brother-lobbying-drugmaker-under-federal-investigation ^
  18. Bradford, Betz. “Biden Advisor’s Brother Lobbying for Drugmaker Under Federal Probe.” Fox News. December 17, 2020. Accessed January 9, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-advisers-brother-lobbying-drugmaker-under-federal-investigation ^
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