Photo of Aaron Cummings

Aaron serves as the co-chair of the Government Affairs Group and provides counsel and advocacy to clients on legislative and policy matters in a range of areas including antitrust, financial services, health care, energy, intellectual property, artificial intelligence, technology, agriculture, and national security. All too often in Washington if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. Aaron helps clients make sure their views are represented in policy discussions in Capitol Hill, the White House, and throughout the federal government.

Aaron has years of high-level experience on Capitol Hill. He’s the former Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the longest serving Republican Senator in history, and current President Pro Tempore-emeritus of the Senate. As Senator Grassley’s Chief of Staff, Aaron worked closely with other members of Republican Senate Leadership and their senior staff to advance the priorities of the Republican Caucus and to set the agenda for the Senate. Aaron also advised Senator Grassley during his tenure as the Chairman of the powerful Judiciary and Finance Committees, the top Republican of the Committee on Budget, and as a senior member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture. During his tenure as a Chief Counsel on the Senate Judiciary committee, Aaron advised Senator Grassley on a host of policy and constitutional issues, including Supreme Court nominations, and was the lead Republican negotiator of the First Step Act—the biggest criminal justice reform effort in a generation and a signature bipartisan accomplishment of the Trump Administration. Aaron also played key roles in the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Earlier in his career, he worked as an Associate Director of Presidential Speechwriting in the George W. Bush White House.

Drawing on his years of experience in litigation, leading congressional investigations, and high-profile hearings on Capitol Hill, Aaron also counsels clients responding to government investigations.

On October 30, 2023, President Biden released an Executive Order (EO) on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).  This landmark EO seeks to advance the safe and secure development and deployment of AI by implementing a society-wide effort across government, the private sector, academia, and civil society to harness “AI for good,” while mitigating its substantial risks.Continue Reading Biden’s Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence

I. Introduction

A U.S. federal government shutdown creates a number of direct and indirect consequences that impact U.S. companies, individuals and virtually every aspect of the U.S. economy.  Although the federal government has experienced previous lapses in funding that have led to shutdowns of all or part of the federal government, the current funding impasse and impending shutdown raise a number of unique and unprecedented questions for government workers, government contractors and businesses, and the public at large.

A U.S. federal government shutdown can have serious consequences because of the size of federal spending and its impact on the U.S. economy.  The U.S. government spent $6.27 trillion dollars in fiscal year 2022 which amounted to approximately 25% of total gross domestic product. The federal government funds over 2,200 federal assistance programs for the public.  There are over 2.2 million federal employees who will be directly impacted in some way by a federal government shutdown with the majority facing a furlough of an undetermined length.  There are over 11 million U.S. federal government contracts signed every year and they may be impacted by a shutdown. Finally, the federal government spends approximately $1.2 trillion dollars every year, or about 19% of all federal spending, on programs that fund or are related to the states.

The purpose of this Client Alert is to explain the consequences of a government shutdown in general, why this one may be different, and to also offer insights to the regulated industries, government contractors and others on what to expect this time around.  Our team is ready and available to help advise companies through this shutdown process.Continue Reading A Brief Primer on the Impact of a Federal Government Shutdown