“Tax reform is taking over Washington, so much so that more than half of all registered lobbyists have disclosed working on the issue, according to an analysis from Public Citizen, a government watchdog group,” TheHill.com reported Monday.
“There are just under 11,000 active lobbyists in the nation’s capital, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, and more than half of them — 6,243 — have reported working on taxes this year, according to the report, which relies on CRP data.”
The CRP, through its website OpenSecrets.org, reported that in 2013 the health care industry spent $486 million lobbying Congress through its 2,886 registered lobbyists.
“ObamaCare has become big business for an elite network of Washington lobbyists and consultants who helped shape the law from the inside. More than 30 former administration officials, lawmakers and congressional staffers who worked on the healthcare law have set up shop on K Street since 2010,” TheHill.com reported on Aug. 25, 2013.
“By our calculations, 2001 was the last time there was near-parity between the money spent on lobbying and the money spent on salaries for members of Congress and their staff,” the Washington Post reported on April 21, 2015. “That year, salaries and compensation for the entire legislative branch was $1.6 billion, according to the Office of Management and Budget’s “Object Class Analysis.” Lobbying organizations, meanwhile, spent $1.64 billion — a figure which increased steadily until 2010. (That number comes from the CRP, which compiled data from the Senate Office of Public Records.) Since then, the gap has widened, with significantly more money spent on the lobbyists than the lobbied.”
“Corporations now spend about $2.6 billion a year on reported lobbying expenditures – more than the $2 billion we spend to fund the House ($1.16 billion) and Senate ($820 million),” Vox.com reported on July 15, 2015. “Those numbers come from political scientist Lee Drutman, author of the book ‘The Business of America Is Lobbying,’ who notes, over email, that they’ve fallen slightly out of date. In 2014 the House’s operating budget was $1.18 billion, and the Senate’s operating budget was $860 million. That pays for, among other things, all congressional staff.”
For each member of Congress there are at least 19 registered lobbyists: 100 senators, 435 members of the House of Representatives … and just under 11,000 lobbyists.
We’re starting to suspect that lobbyists might be the problem in Washington.