GM has hired Eric Feldman as the automaker’s new senior Democratic lobbyist. Prior to joining GM, Feldman served as the head of federal and international affairs at Airbnb. Feldman, a Michigan native, assumes his new post as of today, June 26th, 2023.
Per a post from Politico, Feldman will report to GM global public policy chief Omar Vargas, and will work with GM’s senior Republican lobbyist Hollyn Schuemann in leading GM’s lobbying efforts in the U.S. Congress and other federal officials. Prior to serving as the head of federal and international affairs at Airbnb, a position he held for two years, Feldman worked on the Hill for almost two decades. Feldman also has experience with House Democrats’ campaign arm in fundraising and elections strategy, and recently served as chief of staff to U.S. Democratic Senator Gary Peters.
“Eric played a key role in Senator Peters’ leadership on emerging auto industry technology areas, including autonomous vehicles and cybersecurity,” said GM spokesperson Jeannine Ginivan in a statement last week.
Feldman also chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee and Senate Commerce subcommittee on surface transportation. Feldman has advocated for the expansion of autonomous vehicles.
GM is in the midst of expanding its all-electric vehicle production efforts and continues to develop new autonomous vehicle technology via its AV tech division, Cruise. Cruise currently provides autonomous vehicle taxi services in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Austin.
Per Politico, GM is spending more and more money on lobbying efforts, with federal expenditures topping $11 million during the 2022 calendar year, the biggest federal expenditure spend since the 2008 financial crisis. GM has already spent $5.1 million on lobbying during the first quarter of 2023, the automaker’s biggest single quarterly lobbying spend to date.
GM CEO Mary Barra was a high-profile backer of the recent Inflation Reduction Act, despite serving as chair of the Business Roundtable, which opposed the bill over tax provisions and various revenue-raising provisions.