House Speaker John Boehner's top spokesman is leaving Capitol Hill to go to work for Jeb Bush's likely presidential campaign.
Michael Steel has been with Boehner, an Ohio Republican, for seven years and proven a steady, unflappable public voice for the speaker through multiple crises. These range from the 2011 showdown with President Obama's administration over raising the debt ceiling to the government shutdown of 2013 to this year's eleventh-hour funding of the Department of Homeland Security. Steel, a political reporter before jumping to the other side, will work for Bush's Right to Rise political action committee in Miami, where the former Florida governor's official campaign is expected to be headquartered.
Politico first reported the news; Steel confirmed his move to Bush's PAC to the Washington Examiner.
"Ask anyone in the Capitol — Republican, Democrat or otherwise — about Michael Steel, and they will tell you the same thing: He is a pro's pro," Boehner said in a statement to Politico. "For more than seven years, I have relied on his ability to dissect an issue, win a debate and deal openly and honestly with the press. He brings nothing but class, decency — and even cheer — to his work no matter how tough the situation. We would not be where we are today without him. All of Boehnerland is sorry to see him go, but we wish Michael the best of luck and we thank him for his service."