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Billionaire and Democratic mega donor James Simons has hired a new team of lobbyists to influence a federal government now led by President Joe Biden.
Simons supported Biden in the 2020 elections.
Simons recently hired five powerful lobbyists, including former Republican Senate majority leader Trent Lott and former Democratic Senator John Breaux, according to a new lobbying report. Lott, Breaux, and Biden sat together in the Senate.
Simons founded the New York-based hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, and Forbes lists its net worth at around $ 24 billion. Simons and his wife together gave the Democrats more than $ 26 million during the last election cycle, including large contributions to Super-PACs that support Biden. Simons also spent millions trying to maintain control of the Democrats in the House of Representatives and turn the Senate blue.
Breaux and Lott work at Crossroads Strategies, a Washington, DC-based lobbying shop, with corporate clients such as American Airlines, AT&T, Alphabet, ByteDance, Dell, Merck and Morgan Stanley, according to data from the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. The company has made over $ 5 million in lobbying fees so far this year, CRP data shows. In 2020, the lobbying bureau raised just over $ 16.5 million.
While Breaux and Lott’s assistants did not respond to emails asking for comments, Breaux praised Biden in a November interview with a local Louisiana newspaper. “He wasn’t operating in the illusory world. He understood the people and their needs for their states, ”said Breaux, a former senator from Louisiana, when describing Biden’s work in the Senate.
Crossroads Strategies is Simon’s first lobbyist since Biden became president. According to the document, the group registered in May to stand up for Simons. Prior to the Biden administration, Simons and Renaissance Technologies retained other lobbying firms with a large focus on tax issues.
Although Simons’ lobbying report doesn’t show how much he plans to pay to Crossroads, the registration form states that the influencers want to target, at least initially, a bill called the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021. The bill originally introduced by Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., the Senate Majority Leader, to set up a Directorate for Technology and Innovation in the National Science Foundation, says the bill’s summary.
“The director’s goals include strengthening US leadership in critical technologies through basic research in key technology areas such as artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, and advanced manufacturing, as well as commercializing these technologies for companies in the US,” the executive summary said.
Simons and his foundation have been investing in scientific and mathematical projects for years. The foundation’s website lists the program areas of mathematical and physical sciences, life sciences and computer science through its Flatiron Institute. The foundation’s annual report shows the group had assets of over $ 4 billion by 2021. Simons’ hedge fund is known for making quantitative investments.
A spokeswoman for the foundation declined to comment on Simons’ recent hiring, noting that the foundation did not hire the group from Crossroads, but noted the executive’s passion for supporting science and math.
“I can confirm, however, that Jim Simons is deeply passionate about supporting increased funding for both math and science research and recognizing and rewarding outstanding STEM teachers in high schools nationally,” said Anastasia Greenbaum, communications director of the foundation, CNBC said in an email on Friday.
A call to the Simons family office was not answered prior to publication.