Former U.S. senators Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and John Breaux (D-La.) are part of a team of Patton Boggs lobbyists advocating for a commercial space transportation company, according to paperwork filed with Congress on Thursday.
The former senators and three of their Patton colleagues represent Hawthorne, Calif.-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp., also known as SpaceX. They are lobbying for the company on "issues related to commercial space transportation," according to the paperwork. With the retirement this year of NASA's space shuttle fleet, the reusable aircraft manufacturer is preparing to take control of the delivery of cargo and astronauts to the International Space Station.
Lott and Breaux, senior counsels at Patton, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. A SpaceX spokeswoman didn’t have an immediate comment.
Patton is the second firm that SpaceX retained in the last few months to lobby on its behalf, according to congressional records. Heather Podesta + Partners filed paperwork in November to lobby for the company.
SpaceX spent $500,000 on its federal lobbying efforts during the first three quarters of this year. The company lobbied Congress and federal agencies on aerospace, budget and appropriations matters.
The company used its own staff for its advocacy work, as well as lobbyists from PRASAM, Gray Global Advisors and Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates. Drinker Biddle & Reath also is registered to lobby for SpaceX, but the firm didn’t report any lobbying activity for the company during the first three quarters of this year.