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Federal Lobbying Boom Continues, Third Quarter Reports Indicate

Saturday, October 31, 2009

By Michael Beckel
OpenSecrets.org

Try not to be too spooked on the eve of Halloween, but 2009 is on pace to be another bumper year for lobbyists.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the sectors that could be affected most by the Obama administration's domestic agenda -- particularly health, business and energy -- have been some of the biggest spenders over the course of the year.

During the third quarter, corporations, unions, trade associations and other special interests spent $849 million on federal lobbying, the Center for Responsive Politics has found. This is the largest single-quarter lobbying expenditure since firms began filing quarterly at the start of 2008 -- about $8 million more than was spent during the third quarter of 2008.

The year-to-date total spent on lobbying now stands at $2.5 billion through the end of September, with that sum supporting 13,428 individual active lobbyists. By comparison, the total amount spent on all federal lobbying during 2005 was $2.43 billion.

Below, we've detailed some of these areas by business sector and issue.

HEALTH

The health sector remains the year's top spender on lobbying, with $396 million between January and September. This is about a nine percent increase when compared to the same period in 2008. This year, Congress and President Barack Obama have advanced plans to reform the nation's health care system. Their aim: grant coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, make health insurance costs more affordable, prevent denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions and create a new public health insurance option to compete against private insurers....(Remainder.)

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