Under the Obama administration, lobbying efforts and donation support by lobbying firms was scrutinized. However, there seems to be a thaw occurring in the Democratic Party with Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton has relaxed the former restrictions put in place by Obama for contributions and support from lobbyists during his eight years in office.
Hillary has graciously accepted donations and contributions from lobbyists of over $9 million, as of the end of July 2016. In addition, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) relaxed the former prohibitions on accepting lobbying contributions to support conventions and the party, in general. As a result, lobbyists are hopeful these changes will open up new opportunities, should Hillary be elected come November.
The objective of lobbyist groups during a Clinton presidency would be to help shape her platform and policies, and to potentially influence the executive branch of government. Unlike Obama, many feel Clinton understands the importance of finding and supporting the best causes that are of interest, not only in politics and Washington DC, but also those that benefit the general public.
During the time Obama has been in office, many lobbyists resorted to wearing a letter “L” on t-shirts to show their dissatisfaction with the President’s stance against accepting donations and contributions from lobbyists, and the people and businesses they represent. This campaign year things were entirely different, with many lobbyists pleasantly surprised in the changes by the DNC and Hillary allowing them to attempt to sway Democrats toward their views.
Additionally, the Clintons are not new to lobbying, and many on K Street have worked with former President Bill Clinton or Hillary in some fashion throughout both of their political careers. With the potential for her to be the first female to be elected as president and the unity of the Democratic Party, there are several potential historical milestones that could be realized, and lobbyists are anxious to be included.
Since Hillary is more receptive to lobbyists than Obama is, it opens up doors that have been closed the past eight years. However, lobbying efforts extend beyond supporting Hillary. Support for Democratic candidates in congress is equally important. As we have seen with a Republican controlled congress and Democratic president, it makes things challenging and slows progress of our government.
Even if the Democrats are not able to regain control of congress, it does not mean Hillary will not be able to get things done. She has demonstrated on several occasions, in her time as a Senator, her abilities to unite both parties. Not to mention, there could be opportunities for her to nominate Supreme Court justices.
It is worth mentioning, if Hillary is elected president in November, it will be the first time the Democratic Party has held the office for the longest uninterrupted period of time since President Roosevelt held the office. For more information on lobbying, and to help get your voice heard on the Hill, no matter what candidates and causes you support, contact Lobbyit today at 202.587.2736.