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THE HILL: Corporate headhunters are sizing up the K Street prospects of the retiring members of the 112th Congress — and they like what they see. Twenty-five representatives and senators so far have announced they will retire from Capitol Hill after this year’s election. Executives who work to place ex-lawmakers at law firms, lobby shops and corporate boards are monitoring the outgoing lawmakers and discussing who could go where — and how much they would earn. “As a retiring class goes, this is a very valuable class. A lot of these members are marketable and will be welcomed by K Street with open arms,” Adler said, noting that committee experience will be key. “More than the actual members retiring, it’s the committees they’re retiring from.” Among the prized recruits: Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee; Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), minority whip and a member of the Finance Committee; and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), chairman of the Agriculture subcommittee on Commodities, Markets, Trade and Risk Management. Looking to 2013, headhunters said an ex-Republican senator would likely receive the biggest offers from law and lobbying firms. The least-compensated would likely be a former House Democrat, they said. Former senators could expect to earn somewhere between $800,000 and $1.5 million in annual salary next year at lobby firms, while ex-House members could earn between $300,000 and $600,000, headhunters estimated. They predicted ex-Republican lawmakers would draw bigger salaries than retiring Democrats. MORE

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