Since the first lobbyists staked out politicians…

in a Washington hotel lobby, the lobbying industry has been portrayed (fairly) as existing only for the elite. Large corporations and their high priced representation have a stranglehold on the Capitol. The voices of most Americans are drowned out in a sea of money. The Founders never intended the government to work like this. Our elected representatives were intended to be available “for the redress of grievances by all Americans.”

What is lobbying?

Lobbying consists of promoting, opposing, or attempting to influence the introduction, defeat, or enactment of legislation before a legislative body. It can also include influencing or opposing executive approval, amendment, or veto of legislation.

What is a lobbyist?

An advocate hired to work on behalf of individuals and organizations in order to influence political decisions in their favor is considered a professional lobbyist. Who is a lobbyist? He or she must understand how the federal government works and how decisions are made, and be adept at cultivating relationships within government. Often, lobbyists are past government officials, policy experts, and attorneys.
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Who lobbies?

Lobbyists are professionals with deep knowledge of the way the federal government works. Any individual or organization can petition government, but organizations and businesses typically hire lobbyists to represent their concerns. The most active industries hiring lobbyists include health, insurance, oil and gas, technology, and electricity.

What is the Average Cost of Lobbying?

Through the use of a lobbyist, companies both large and small can help make their opinions known to the people who vote to pass different laws and policies. Business owners can choose to hire a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C to help promote their cause in Washington, D.C., sometimes being charged as much as $50,000 per month.
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How Does a Bill Become a Law?

Most Americans learn about the process by which our country passes laws in middle school when we study the Constitution. The separation of powers is clearly outlined; any bill must be voted upon by both chambers of the legislative branch and signed by the executive before it becomes the law of the land and is enforced by the judiciary.
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Who regulates lobbying?

Each of the 50 states regulates lobbying, with its own set of definitions and laws. The federal government has also imposed some regulations on lobbying, most recently through the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.

What is the average salary for a Washington DC lobbyist?

People often ask what a Washington lobbyist earns. Incomes vary widely depending on location and position, such as whether or not the lobbyist is employed on staff for a large corporation, or is a small, private lobbying firm that represents people at all levels. The median salary for a Washington lobbyist is currently $113,189.1

Who are the top 10 most powerful lobbying groups?

The top 10 most powerful lobbying groups are represented by these top lobbying companies in Washington DC. Ranked by dollars spent in 2014, they include: US Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Realtors, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, National Association of Broadcasters, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Comcast Corp, Google Inc., Boeing Co.3

What is the legal basis for the practice of lobbying?

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, enacted in 1791, bars Congress from inhibiting individual freedoms, including the right of the people to petition their government. Lobbying activity under this protection dates to the early years of the federal government, and its influence has grown and expanded throughout our history. In 1995, the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) was passed, to further disclosure of lobbying activities, and the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 sought to increase transparency in lobbying and government.

What does it mean to be a registered lobbyist?

Any lobbyist hired to represent an organization must register to lobby with the federal government. They must submit identical forms to the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House within 45 days of being employed by the group.4

What information do lobbying firms disclose to the federal government?

In their registration documents, lobbying firms must disclose their name, the name of their client or employer, a list of issues being lobbied, and the names of organizations contributing over $10,000 toward lobbying during a six-month period. The lobbyist must also file financial activity reports twice yearly.4 Additional requirements apply for foreign entities.

Examples of lobbying in government

An advocate hired to work on behalf of individuals and organizations in order to influence political decisions in their favor is considered a professional lobbyist. Who is a lobbyist? He or she must understand how the federal government works and how decisions are made, and be adept at cultivating relationships within government. Often, lobbyists are past government officials, policy experts, and attorneys.

Here are some direct lobby examples of successful action by Lobbyit:

Hired by a non-profit arts education group, Lobbyit was able to secure a House Resolution that established a ceremonial week in the organization’s honor, a Senate Proclamation, and a statement read into the Congressional Record, with the goal of gaining a higher profile. Results were achieved after just 4 months of lobbying effort.

An internationally known automotive firm was served by a Congressional education campaign that resulted in heading off numerous harmful initiatives. Lobbyit efforts also led to multiple visits to the company site by members of Congress and drafting of regulatory comments, all serving to protect the company’s interests.

Lobbying firms and international policy

International companies and foreign governments can obtain lobbying services to influence legislation in the U.S., and to work toward favorable regulations. Lobbyists contracted by foreign companies or organizations must register with the Department of Justice within ten days of their hire, and before performing any services. They are required to keep accounts, label informational materials with the name of the foreign principal, provide copies of their registration, materials, and income and expenditures to the Attorney General, as well as to any Congressional committees when testifying.2

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