What Stimulus Lobbyists Are Lobbying About
Just how many lobbyists are working the stimulus beat, and what are they lobbying about?
Our search of the Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database for the terms "stimulus," "ARRA" and "recovery" yielded a list of 90 firms representing 132 clients -- and that is probably not exhaustive, given that several relationships that have been publicly announced did not appear in our search results.
With 10 clients, large Washington-based Holland & Knight LLP tops our list. Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and American Capitol Group are second and third respectively.
Geographically, the clients range from Torrington, Conn., to Seattle, Wash., and topically from Shell Oil to poultry company Pilgrim's Pride.
And what do these clients want?
By far the most frequent requests involve obtaining funding for an assortment of local projects -- identified in our graphic as "projects."
After that, the common lobbying topics reflect the appropriations in the stimulus bill itself. For example, the second-largest lobbying category was energy. (There's $40 billion in stimulus for the energy sector.) Third most common was health care, which accounts for about $19 billion of the stimulus money, and next was broadband, which accounts for about $7 billion in spending.
At the moment, all we have is registration forms -- which essentially announce intent to lobby in the future. As the filing deadline for first-quarter reports approaches, we look forward to documentation of the amounts spent and the agencies lobbied.
Officials have struggled to spend the nearly $800 billion stimulus package quickly and effectively.