In 2015, the top ten lobbyist groups spent millions of dollars to influence political parties, polices, and legislation before the House and Senate. Combined, these groups invested $64 million, in the first quarter of 2015 alone, to attempt to sway people’s opinions in favor of their views and objectives, and included these organizations:
- The U.S Chamber of Congress
- The Institute of Legal Reform
- National Association of Realtors
- The American Medical Association
- General Electric
- American Electric Power Company
- The Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America
- The National Association of Broadcasters
- The American Hospital Association
Together, the U.S Chamber of Congress and the Institute of Legal Reform spend 19.5 million on lobbying efforts directed toward the White House and Congress on influencing environmental regulation, copyright laws, and free trade agreements, with some success. Their efforts helped to move along the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The National Association of Realtors invested $7.7 million to lobby for the Mortgage Choice Act to reduce the regulations on mortgage lenders, as well as on flood insurance premium issues. Their efforts helped get the Mortgage Choice Act approved in the House of Representatives.
The American Medical Association spent $6.7 million on lobbying, with success in both the House and Senate, in efforts to fix a flaw with the Medicare payment system. Both Congressional Parties voted on resolutions to permanently resolve issues with the payment system.
Google only recently entered the list of top spending lobbyists in 2015, by investing $5.5 million to protect against antitrust litigation, as well as patent issues to further support their efforts in the development of self-driving vehicles and drones.
General Electric spent $4.8 million, while American Electric Power Company spent $4.7 million on lobbying to protect their markets against the growing solar industry. Utility and energy equipment manufacturers are typically top spenders for lobbying on topics that are vital to their continued growth.
Part of the reason for the increase in spending in 2015, over 2014, was largely due to the Republican-controlled House and Senate. Lobbyist efforts by these and other groups are aimed at attempting to get bills passed or given a second look, which under a Democratic-controlled House and Senate would not necessarily have had a chance of passing.
Whenever there is a shift in the political leadership in the House and Senate, it typically requires tailoring lobbying efforts toward the group currently in power and influencing their viewpoints on various topics of interest to lobbyist groups. Depending on the results of the November 2016 election, there again could be a shift in leadership, which would result in lobbyists having to determine exactly how much to invest in 2017.
Even though these leading groups are some of the top investors in lobbying efforts, it does not mean smaller businesses and organizations cannot help shape and influence legislation with the right assistance from qualified DC lobbying firms, like Lobbyit. Contact us at 202-587-2736 to learn more about how we can help your organization have the representation it needs in Washington today.