A senior Senate finance aide is making a bid with his new off-the-Hill job with eBay Inc.
John Lawrence moved to the online auction service last month after nearly five years working in the Senate, most recently with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.). His new position as the senior manager and counsel for federal government relations coincides with the recent debate over which states should have the authority to collect out-of-state sales taxes on online purchases. eBay has lobbied Congress this past year against the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would give states this power.
In a 2013 op-ed published on The Hill, Ayotte argued that forcing online retailers to collect state sales taxes would hurt small business owners and eliminate competition for large retailers. The bill passed the Senate in May 2013 but has not been taken up by the House yet.
Lawrence started his political career as a legislative assistant for Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), working on banking and commerce issues in July 2009. The University of Alabama and Samford University law graduate moved to Ayotte's staff in April 2011, where his legislative portfolio included banking, budget, finance, judiciary and small business matters.