Record Sum Spent on Lobbying

By Judy Sarasohn
Thursday, February 16, 2006

It is February 2006, but the results of the lobbying disclosures for the first six months of 2005 are just in at PoliticalMoneyLine, the online organization that tracks lobbying and campaign money: A record $1,164,586,968 was spent on lobbying Congress and the executive branch during the first six months. That amounts to "$194 million in spending per month, almost $6.5 million a day, or more than $540,000 an hour in a twelve-hour day."

Lobbying spending increased by $85 million, or 8 percent, over the previous record, $1.08 billion, posted in the second six months of 2004. Reports from lobbyists, companies, groups and others for the second half of 2005 are due this week, but they often dribble in.

PoliticalMoneyLine also counted 27,765 registered lobbyists.

"There's always some hot-button issue where it's a slugfest by industry," PoliticalMoneyLine's Kent Cooper said in an interview.

Here are some of the findings for the first half of 2005:

· Health care was the big lobbying issue, with more than $173.2 million spent. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, for instance, spent $6.2 million on lobbying, and the American Medical Association spent $9.3 million.

· AARP, the seniors group with big Medicare and Social Security concerns, led the way among organizations, spending $27.8 million.

· The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its Institute for Legal Reform spent $18.1 million.

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