In 2021, lobbying beat all time amid a flurry of public spending –

In 2021, lobbying beat all time amid a flurry of public spending –

Revenue data compiled by government records in recent weeks at Open Secrets shows that since 2017, the first year of President Donald Trump’s presidency, lobbying costs have steadily risen and dropped dramatically until 2020, when the pandemic began. . The leap in 2021, with lobbying costs nearly 6% higher than in 2020, came after record spending hit center, including government pandemic responses and another $ 1.9 trillion in aid for the pandemic and a $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

The increase comes after companies and associations aim to repeal regulations in their industries, many of which are linked to the pandemic, while others struggle for trillions in new costs. Manufacturers, associations, financial companies and technology companies spent much more in 2021 than in previous years, but some of the biggest growth came from the sectors most affected by Covid.

Cruise companies that have been closed for over a year due to the pandemic cost a lot more than before Kovida, Norwegian cruise lines are 100 times more expensive than in 2019, American cruise lines are 20 times more expensive, and others are down. Ascending.

Norway hired two new lobbying companies and spent $ 1 million last year after spending just $ 10,000 in 2019, according to a government presentation. The company lobbied Congress, the White House, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a US $ 1.9 trillion bailout, the third largest stimulus bill passed during the pandemic, to provide guidance. on the interruption of cruises and on safe operations.

Another cruise operator, Carnival, spent more than $ 1 million in both years of the pandemic, lobbying for resignations and job losses as a result of the pandemic, according to filings. It spent 59% more in 2021 than in 2019. Since March 2021, cruise backers have sent 155,000 messages to Congress in support of the industry’s turnaround. The first cruise ship since the outbreak began was cleared to leave the US port in June, and more than 2 million passengers have traveled by ship from the United States since then.

First aid packages approved on cruise ships in early 2020 have expired, but the CDC recently said it will allow the coronavirus cruise rules to be consumed, making them optional for operators.

Cruise Lines declined to comment, but the industry-leading Cruise Lines International Association said no cruise ships left the United States between March 2020 and June 2021 and operators are focused on “responsible return of cruise tourism.” “

“We have focused on comprehensive, science-based public health protocols to educate policy makers who facilitate the resumption of cruise operations,” said spokesperson Laziza Lambert. She said she.

Other industries have spent large sums of money to review proposals made by prominent democrats with progressive policies, with mixed success. The American Chemistry Board, which represents manufacturers of chemicals and plastics, spent more than $ 16.6 million in 2021, an increase of 18% from 2020, and much more than in 2019.

Jennifer Scott, a spokesperson for the group, said the group’s two top priorities are to reject (at least it has been accepted) a proposal to restore taxes on chemical manufacturers to fund superfund remediation projects and reject a proposed tax for chemicals. plastic producers aiming to land plastic waste. which has not passed).

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Thousands of businesses and organizations initially hired lobbyists during the pandemic as more than 3,700 companies and other groups that didn’t spend money on government lobbying in 2019 paid lobbyists last year.

The new entrances include dozens of healthcare, technology, tourism and entertainment companies, including individual museums, theaters and entertainment companies. Small restaurant owners have formed a new association to fight pandemic aid, the Independent Restaurants Coalition, which together spent $ 290,000 in 2020 and 2021.

OpenSecrets senior researcher Dan Aubel said some groups may have hired lobbyists as a temporary measure, but have decided to raise their costs as the pandemic continues.

“Every aspect of the economy has been in a complete crisis for the past two years, so everyone has been lobbying,” Obl said. “I think it’s probably the people who came to Washington a few years ago and got stuck there, or the industries that understood the benefits they could reap from being active in Washington.”

Industries established with lobbyists in Washington will also spend more than usual each year in 2021, such as tech and defense companies, Auble said. Live entertainment and entertainment companies spent more than $ 10 million in 2021, a 43% increase over 2019. This included hefty additional costs such as sports leagues, National Football League and Major League Baseball.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Cummings said roundtable spending increased 72% from 2020 to $ 29.1 million.

The pharmaceutical industry, which is regularly a major consumer in Washington, has also increased its costs as it struggles to control drug prices and grapples with vaccines and supply chain problems. The largest trading group, American Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers (PhRMA), spent more than $ 30 million last year, up 17% from the previous year.

“From supply chain problems to cancer research and the continued supply of new treatments and vaccines to fight COVID-19, our organization engages policy makers on a wide range of important issues,” the spokesperson said in a statement. by Phrama Sarah Sutton. She said she. When it comes to drug pricing, she said, drug manufacturers “face a policy that threatens biopharmaceutical innovation.”

Source: Washington Post

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