Janie Lorber

Pressure Points: The Sequester and Medicare Reimbursements

A labor group representing hospital workers is appealing to members of Congress and staffers to mitigate the effects of sequester cuts on Medicare hospital reimbursements.

The Campaign

Immigration Advocates Target Senate's 'Gang of Eight'

Labor unions, Latino organizations and human rights groups are launching a nationwide grass-roots lobbying campaign to urge Congress — particularly members of the Senate’s immigration working group — to include a path to citizenship for undocumented workers in any immigration rewrite.

The effort includes broadcast advertisements — the first of which is bankrolled by the Service Employees International Union — and a 19-state bus tour beginning Feb. 25. The coalition will also host eight rallies during the Presidents Day recess in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

Organizing for America Plans 'National Day of Action' to Mobilize Grass Roots on Guns

Organizing for Action is planning its first official mobilization in support of President Barack Obama’s proposals to curtail gun violence.

The nonprofit that inherited Obama’s campaign infrastructure and 2 million strong volunteer army will hold a “national day of action” on Feb. 22, officials said Tuesday.

Abortion Rights Group Strives for Youthful Image

One of the nation’s most prominent abortion rights groups is working to remake its image in response to concern that it may be overtaken by a growing cadre of young anti-abortion activists.

Its message: This is not your mother’s NARAL.

Defense Industry Braces for Sequester While Publicly Urging Alternatives to Cuts

The Aerospace Industries Association, which has waged a two-year campaign to fight automatic defense cuts imposed by Congress, plans to add staff to its lobbying and communications divisions and is ramping up its messaging with fewer than four weeks before the ax is set to fall.

The final weeks before the March 1 deadline are filled with pessimism, “a bit more” nervousness and more activity against the sequester, according to a spokesman for the group.

K Street Files: At Start of Second Term, Lobbyists Get Over Obama's Cold Shoulder
As K Street parties to mark president’s inauguration, administration policy on lobbyists may be in for slight shift

The Obama administration may not be outwardly keen on lobbyists, but plenty of K Streeters showed up to fete the start of the president’s second term at the Ford Motor Co. inaugural gala on Monday.

Ford’s chief global lobbyist, Ziad Ojakli, worked the bipartisan gala, held at the cavernous Smithsonian Air and Space Museum amid antique planes and retired space capsules.

Interests' Presence Felt In 2012, Filings Show

Updated: Jan. 23, 8:40 a.m. | It may have been a do-little Congress, but lobbyists of all stripes made their presence felt on Capitol Hill this past year.

Business groups and defense firms pounded the marble floors to beat back automatic spending cuts under the sequester and keep their favorite tax benefits out of deficit negotiations. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was poised to retain its perch as the top-spending interest group, investing almost $104 million in 2012, according to lobbying disclosure reports due Tuesday.

Obama Volunteers Chart Future of Grass-Roots Group

Organizing for Action, the nonprofit that officially launches Tuesday, will immediately begin pressing lawmakers to support the Obama administration’s proposals on gun control and a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws, the group’s leaders said Sunday.

But the grass-roots organization that helped propel President Barack Obama to a second term with 2.2 million volunteers and more than 1 million donors also seems likely to play a key role in the 2014 midterm elections.

GOP Groups Urge Moderate Stance on Immigration

A Texas restaurateur and longtime Republican faced an uncomfortable question from one of his Latino cooks: “How can you be a Republican when Republicans hate Hispanics?” the employee asked in 2011, as the party’s presidential hopefuls battled for the nomination.

Brad Bailey’s car is adorned with GOP bumper stickers. He frequently hosts Republican fundraisers at his two Houston seafood restaurants. But this spring, he took a leave of absence to try to shift his party’s stance on immigration. “I started looking at the debate through the employees’ eyes,” recalled Bailey, who founded The Texas Immigration Solution. “This is not Republican at all. ... This issue, this one issue, is turning people off.”

Activists Mobilize to Enact Parts of Obama Gun Plan

Gun control activists are readying a major district-by-district effort in the hope of pushing parts of President Barack Obama’s plan to address gun violence through Congress.

Just hours after Obama called on lawmakers to pass a series of measures, an alliance of liberal groups, unions and gun control activists gathered at the Washington headquarters of the National Education Association to develop a path to 218 votes in the Republican-controlled House.

K Street Files: Business Roundtable Weighs In on Entitlements

With an overhaul of entitlement programs possible on the horizon, the Business Roundtable is flexing its muscle on Social Security and Medicare.

The association, made up of CEOs from some of the largest American corporations, is urging Congress to raise the age at which seniors become eligible for the two programs.

NRA Launches Urgent Appeal Ahead of White House Gun Proposal

The National Rifle Association issued an urgent appeal to its members Tuesday, asking them to “renew or upgrade” as the Obama administration prepared to release a proposal to stem gun violence.

The emailed plea is part of the lobby’s efforts to demonstrate enduring political clout amid growing calls for gun restrictions.

K Street Files: Media Matters, MoveOn Adviser Takes Reins at NARAL

Ilyse Hogue, a former staffer for Media Matters for America and MoveOn.org, will join NARAL Pro-Choice America as its president, the organization announced Monday.

Hogue, a fixture in liberal Washington circles, most recently co-founded Friends of Democracy, a super PAC that raised more than $2.4 million last cycle to support candidates who back campaign finance reform.

New York Wines Land Prized Spot on Inaugural Menu

New York’s growing wine industry has home state Sen. Charles E. Schumer to thank for two spots on the inaugural luncheon menu.

As the chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, Schumer suggested a 2009 merlot from Bedell Cellars on the North Fork of Long Island and a Tierce 2010 dry riesling produced from grapes from three Finger Lakes vineyards.

LaTourette Signs on as Lobbyist, PAC Director

Former Rep. Steven C. LaTourette — the high-profile moderate Ohio Republican who blamed gridlock and political infighting for his retirement — will not stray far from the Capitol Dome.

He announced two new roles on Tuesday: as a Washington lobbyist and a political action committee director.

Tea Party Re-Flexes Its Muscle

The state of the tea party evokes Mark Twain: Reports of its death were an exaggeration.

Tea party activists who say they deliberately sat out the fiscal cliff debate are ready to reassert themselves as Congress and the Obama administration take up the debt ceiling and automatic spending cuts under the sequester.

Crapo Pleads Guilty to DUI Charge in Virginia

Sen. Michael D. Crapo pleaded guilty Friday to a drunken driving charge and has been banned from the road for the year.

The Idaho Republican, who has built a reputation as a staunch fiscal and social conservative, was arrested last month when he failed multiple sobriety tests after running a red light in Alexandria, Va.

NRA Proposal Shifts Focus of Gun Debate

The National Rifle Association got what it aimed for Friday: With one news conference, the powerful gun lobby seems to have shifted the national dialogue — even if just momentarily — away from gun-control measures.

In the days leading up to the group’s Washington event, lawmakers offered a flurry of proposals aimed at making guns less dangerous and keeping them out of the wrong hands. Gun Owners for America, an outspoken gun rights organization that is widely seen as more conservative than the NRA, aired concerns that the NRA would make unnecessary concessions. And more than 1,500 people started online petitions targeting the NRA on Change.org, including a plea from one of the group’s own members.

Mayors, Brady Group Try to Swing Pendulum on Guns

In the aftermath of the Dec. 14 massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, Mayors Against Illegal Guns earned the support of 13 more mayors, including several Republicans, raised tens of thousands of dollars, and lined up dozens of celebrities and technology executives to promote its cause.

Meanwhile, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and 32 families of mass shooting victims sent a letter to lawmakers and President Barack Obama demanding stricter gun laws.

Gun Group's Rhetoric Signals Tough Road for Legislation

Amid an outpouring of condolences after last week’s deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, the reaction from one gun-rights group stood out.

“Blood is on the hands of members of Congress and the Connecticut legislators who voted to ban guns from all schools in Connecticut,” Gun Owners of America said in a statement Dec. 15, a day after a gunman killed 27 people, including 20 first-graders, in Newtown, Conn. “They are the ones who made it illegal to defend oneself with a gun in a school.”