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K Street Files: In Redskins Fight, Activists May Turn to Congress

“If they came out and sort of reviewed it like 42 other countries have, concluding that this is a problem that needs addressing, it would give us a great deal of wind in our back,” said Lyle Beckwith, senior vice president of government relations at the National Association of Convenience Stores.

The Merchant Payments Coalition drew down its lobbying retainers for several of its outside consultants during the third quarter as the group waited for the GAO report. The coalition has Patton Boggs, Steptoe & Johnson, American Continental Group and Nickles Group on retainer. The group spent $135,000 on lobbying during the third quarter this year compared with $245,000 during the second quarter, according to Senate lobbying disclosure reports.

Beckwith said the merchants are prepared to ramp back up activities.

“Unlike our opponents, we don’t have limitless resources,” Beckwith said. “Depending on the direction of the GAO report, we will be ramping up accordingly.”

But the merchants’ foe, Electronic Payments Coalition, is already pushing back.

“No matter what it says, unless it shows that consumers would not be harmed by Congress taking action, I feel that Members of Congress are going to have a tough time [moving forward], particularly now, to put more pressure on consumers so merchants can make more money,” EPC spokeswoman Trish Wexler said.

Bank This. As the House Financial Services Committee tackles its markup of the Financial Stability Improvement Act this week, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions is urging support for an amendment by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.).

Sherman’s proposal would put more of the tab for failing institutions on the biggest banks, substantially increasing the assessment threshold for the Systemic Resolution Fund to $75 billion from $10 billion.

“At the current $10 billion threshold, three natural-person credit unions, including the two largest credit unions that serve our men and women in the Armed Forces, would be assessed to pay for the resolution of future failures of financial companies like AIG,” wrote Brad Thaler, NAFCU’s director of legislative affairs.

Thaler added that the Sherman amendment would “address our concerns as no credit unions would be above the threshold.”

K Street Moves. Jeffrey J. Kimbell and Associates is bringing on Tamar Thompson and Lindsay Shore. Thompson joins as vice president of reimbursement and health policy. Shore, who has worked for House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), will be director of government affairs and policy.

• The Independent Petroleum Association of America has tapped Bruce Vincent, president of Swift Energy Co., as its chairman and Virginia “Gigi” Lazenby, president of oil and gas producer Bretagne, as vice chairwoman.

Kate Ackley contributed to this report.

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