lobbying

Health Care, Tax Overhauls Drive Lobbying in Trump Era
“We’re feeling really confident going into the second half of the year”

During the turbulent first six months of the Trump administration, some of the biggest lobbying groups scaled back their spending as his signature initiatives collapsed. But major agenda items, including a tax overhaul, will continue to fuel K Street work.

Other wish-list items in the coming months will include a measure to raise the nation’s debt limit, funding the government for fiscal 2018, and continued negotiations about shoring up the nation’s health care system, even as Republican efforts to dismantle the 2010 health care law have cratered.

K Street Ups Pressure for Congress to Raise Debt Limit
“We’d like this to be resolved quickly”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has urged Congress to address the debt limit soon, but lawmakers have not yet set a schedule, prompting concern among business and financial services groups. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Wall Street and K Street haven’t hit the panic button just yet, but lobbyists for financial services and business groups are increasing their pressure on lawmakers to swiftly extend the debt limit and fund the government without drama.

Their main focus is on the debt limit, which the Trump administration has asked Congress to increase by this fall. Without an increase — or suspension — lawmakers would jeopardize the nation’s ability to pay its bills. Even just debating the debt limit can cause global stock market losses, and an actual breach of the nation’s borrowing authority carries potentially catastrophic consequences.

Climate Change Activists Flood Capitol to Lobby Lawmakers
Merkley, Whitehouse and Fitzpatrick address concerned parents

Children join in as organizers set up a play area on the Upper Senate Lawn Thursday as part of the fourth annual “play in” demonstration on the Hill organized by Moms Clean Air Force. (Griffin Connolly/CQ Roll Call)

Climate change activists from all 50 states met with more than 150 lawmakers and staffers on Capitol Hill on Thursday, armed with personal anecdotes and data booklets to persuade members to take action on environmental issues such as air pollution and global warming.

The meetings were part of the fourth annual “play in” demonstration, organized by the anti-pollution advocacy group Moms Clean Air Force, which brought parents and their children to the Hill.

Couple Wants to Make Lobbying Accessible and ‘Good’
Billy and Callie DeLancey left their jobs to start nonprofit

Billy and Callie DeLancey of Lobbyists 4 Good were married in May of last year. (Courtesy Billy and Callie DeLancey)

On one D.C. couple’s first date, they discovered that they both shared a goal of starting a nonprofit.

Less than a year after their wedding, Billy and Callie DeLancey kicked off Lobbyists 4 Good.

Ex-Staffer and Lobbyist Took Pre-Election Leap to Antiques
Daphna Peled recently opened Pillar & Post in Georgetown

Daphna Peled recently opened Pillar & Post in Georgetown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A few miles from the Capitol, in what feels like a getaway from political turmoil, lies a piece of vintage British culture in Washington.

Former Capitol Hill staffer turned lobbyist Daphna Peled left her political career to start Pillar & Post, an antique shop in Georgetown that sells British furniture and decor such as tea sets, pillows and artwork.

Disgraced Lobbyist Abramoff Registers as Foreign Agent
Lawyer: Abramoff ‘is not on probation and is not the subject of any ongoing investigation’

After leaving Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C. in 2006, Jack Abramoff, waits to leave the premises, after entering a plea agreement on three felony charges. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The conviction of Jack Abramoff, perhaps the most infamous modern K Street character, apparently wasn’t the end of the Justice Department’s interest in the former hot-shot lobbyist.

Abramoff, who was sentenced to prison in 2008 on federal corruption and other charges, recently filed a retroactive foreign agent lobbying registration for unpaid — and unsuccessful — work aimed at helping the Republic of Congo arrange a meeting with President Donald Trump, new DOJ filings showed.

GoFundMe Page to Support Lobbyist Matt Mika Raises Goal to 50K
Page for wounded police officer nears goal of $20,000

Alexandria Police officers rope off the crime scene around Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Va., where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot during baseball practice on June 14. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly $40,000 has been raised to support the recovery of Tysons Food lobbyist Matt Mika, who was shot in the chest at the Republican team’s baseball practice last week.

On Monday, the page’s goal was $20,000. By Tuesday morning, it was raised to $50,000 and had donations from more than 300 people.

Casino Lobby Launches Sports Betting Campaign
Group seeks repeal of law banning betting on sporting events and games

The casino industry is pushing to overturn the law banning sports betting. (Courtesy Baishampayan Ghos/Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0)

The American Gaming Association is making a wager that a new coalition will convince Congress to repeal a 1992 law that bans most states from allowing sports betting.

The association, which represents the casino industry, will launch the American Sports Betting Coalition on Monday with members that include law enforcement and state and local governments, among others.

Trump’s Ethics Waivers Grant Ex-Lobbyists Wide Influence
Ethics watchdogs, some lobbyists decry movement between K Street and administration

Supporters greet Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after he spoke at a rally February 19, 2016 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images file photo)

The batch of ethics waivers released by the White House offered more evidence of what everyone already knew: The Trump administration, despite pledges to “drain the swamp,” has embraced the revolving door between government and the private sector.

The waivers are more sweeping in scope than those of the Obama administration, and reveal that former lobbyists and other senior officials may freely take part in meetings and decisions that affect their former clients and onetime employers.

Lobbyists Don’t Get Business Boom With Trump
Clients have been hiring lobbyists at a reduced rate compared to 2009

BY SEAN MCMINN and KATE ACKLEY

With a unified Republican government in Washington, lobbyists hoped that 2017 would offer a long-awaited opportunity to push big proposals through Congress — but records do not indicate any large uptick in clients during the early months of the Trump administration.