Lobbying firms of all sizes operate much like most other service businesses: They provide a service to their clients in exchange for a fee. The service paid for, in this case, is retaining the services of an experienced lobbyist to express the viewpoints of the business to lawmakers in Congress and other influential government officials.
The money paid to lobbyists for their time is for much more than just hanging around the halls of the House or Senate waiting to speak to Congressmen and Congresswomen. Rather, a good portion of their time is spent reviewing what bills are up before the House and Senate, and which ones will have the biggest effects on their clients, either negatively or positively, and then determining how the House and Senate would vote on that particular bill.
If the outcomes are positive, the bill already has a strong following, and it will likely pass, then the lobbyist concentrates on other bills of interest to their clients. For instance, there may be a bill up before Congress that will negatively impact small business owners’ tax rates.
In this example, the lobbyists would arrange meetings with committees, coalition groups, aids to legislators, and various legislators to voice their clients’ opinions on the bill and attempt to get the language or wording of it revised in favor of their clients, or would attempt to sway the lawmakers to vote against passing the bill.
Where Does the Money Go?
The money paid to firms and lobbyists is used for a wide array of purposes and functions. A good portion of the money collected from clients is used for payroll and to pay lobbyists working directly for various firms. Another portion of the money collected from clients is spent on researching the topics the clients want to attempt to sway lawmakers’ opinions about in their favor. For instance, what would be the long-term environmental impacts the implementation of a law could have on a particular region.
In addition, the money paid lobbyists is used to fund campaigns to increase public awareness through various media outlets, including:
- Social Media
- Other Online Channels
By educating the general public, it can further help shape the opinions of people in favor of the client. In turn, these people can share their opinion on the matter by contacting their Congressional representatives, which further helps sway the lawmakers’ viewpoint.
Additionally, a small portion of the money paid to lobby firms is used to find experts that are familiar with particular pieces of legislation and pay for their time to testify on the behalf of the client in front of lawmakers on those bills of interest to the client.
Without lobbyists and their services, many lawmakers would have no idea about what issues were important to the small businesses and people in their Congressional Districts. To learn more about lobbying and to discover how you can get your voice heard on Capitol Hill, contact LobbyIt at 202.587.2736 today. We offer affordable lobbying services for businesses of all sizes!