Health Sector Groups Most Aggressively Lobby the Supercommittee
Open Secrets, November 2, 2011
These 400-plus groups represent a broad range of interests, but the No. 1 interest area among the clients with their sights on the supercommittee was the health sector.
The AMA, AHA and PhRMA were among the biggest spenders during the third quarter to explicitly mention the supercommittee’s work in their lobbying reports. However, it’s impossible to know how much money each organization invested on supercommitee-related lobbying. Federal law only requires groups to disclose one lump-sum figure for all their quarterly lobbying activity — which can often cover dozens of issues.
Outside of the health sector, other big spenders during the third quarter that mentioned the supercommittee include the National Association of Realtors, General Electric, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Comcast, Lockheed Martin and Royal Dutch Shell.
Notably absent from the list of companies that mentioned the supercommittee in their third-quarter lobbying reports was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has spent more on lobbying this year than any other organization.
Overall, 44 different ideological and single-issue groups reported lobbying the supercommittee, according to the Centers’ research — or about 11 percent of all groups.
The finance insurance and real estate sector ranked third, with 40 companies within that sector reporting lobbying activity during the third quarter that targeted the supercommittee. And 39 groups in the energy sector reported lobbying the supercommittee.
The exact number of organizations lobbying the supercommittee could be even higher as disclosure forms paint only a broad picture of lobbying activities.
Groups are required, for instance, to disclose on their quarterly LD-2 that they targeted the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and to say that they lobbied on a broad issue such as “finance,” “taxes” or “banking.” But they do not have to specify which members of Congress, or whose staffers, with whom they met.
These LD-2 lobbying filings have an additional field for “specific issues” in which companies and groups can provide further details about the issues and legislation on which they lobbied. Bill titles and bill numbers are often given in this field, but not always. And at this time, the supercommittee doesn’t even have one set piece of legislation that companies could cite even if they wanted to.
You can see the full list of all 403 organizations and their sector and industry breakdown here: http://bit.ly/t91jLr.
Center for Responsive Politics researcher Sarah Bryner contributed to this report.