Today’s mood: All eyes are on upcoming budget negotiations, with many corporate lobbyists warning their clients to prepare for at least a brief government shutdown when the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) remain committed to avoiding a shutdown, but at least 31 House Republicans have vowed to oppose any spending bill that does not defund Planned Parenthood. That means Boehner could need Democratic support to keep the government funded.

The House is scheduled to vote Friday on two standalone abortion-related bills — one that would block federal funding to Planned Parenthood for one year and one that would impose criminal penalties on doctors who do not provide medical care to infants who survive a failed abortion. The two measures could give House Republicans an outlet to express their disapproval of Planned Parenthood, allowing leaders to keep the issue separate from the budget showdown. Maybe.

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Comings and goings

Steve Caldeira, president and chief executive of the International Franchise Association (IFA), is stepping down after a dispute over renewing his contract, The Hill reports. Caldeira led the trade group, which represents 780,000 franchise businesses, for six years.

Lobby and public affairs shop Public Strategies Washington has hired lobbyist Nathan Miller from OB-C Group. Miller previously was a legislative aide and counsel for former Sen. Lincoln Chaffee (R-R.I.), who is now running for president as a Democrat. He’s lobbied on behalf of corporations including Anheuser-Busch, Blackstone Group, Kohl’s Corp. and Sears Holdings.


GE to move 500 U.S. jobs overseas, blames Ex-Im expiration: General Electric announced Tuesday that it may move 500 U.S. jobs to Europe and China, after reaching a deal with France’s export credit agency, Coface, to finance a significant portion of the company’s power projects. Many export credit agencies require companies that receive the benefit of their financing to have operations in the region where the agency is based. GE blamed Congress for not renewing the U.S. credit export agency, Export-Import Bank. GE, along with Boeing, is one of the leading corporate voices lobbying Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im’s charter, which expired in July.

Jon Stewart lobbies Congress to extend 9/11 benefits: The former Daily Show host is on Capitol Hill today to join firefighters pressing Congress to renew a health and compensation benefits program for victims of 9/11, The Hill reports. The program, The World Trade Center Health Program, is set to expire Sept. 30. It provides medical monitoring and treatment to emergency responders and cleanup workers.

‘No jeans’ for the Pope’s visit: Four House members last week sent a letter to Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, asking them to issue guidelines to House and Senate members on “appropriate decorum, protocol and behavior” for Pope Francis‘ visit to Washington next week, reports Al Kamen. Boehner and Pelosi are said to be working on a “guidance card.” The four members who requested the guidelines are Reps. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) and Tim Murphy (R-Pa.). From the story: “Members could use info on ‘how to greet the Pope, proper attire [no jeans?] … among other matters of etiquette,’ the letter said.”

Twitter hires lobbyists for net neutrality, surveillance reform: Twitter has hired outside lobbyists for the first time in preparation for policy fights facing tech companies, The Hill reports. The lobbyists will focus on net neutrality, surveillance reform, patent reform and reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a Twitter spokesman said. The social media company has tapped Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, The Joseph Group and Millennial Bridge Consulting. Mehlman Castagnetti has represented major tech players including Adobe and Hewlett-Packard. Millennial Bridge founder Lauren Culbertson has represented the Internet Freedom Business Alliance on net neutrality issues and is a former aide to Sen. Johhny Isakson (R-Ga.). Kevin Joseph, founder of the Joseph Group and a former Democratic Hill staffer, has represented Dropbox and Comcast.

New lobbying contracts

Samsung C&T Corp. has hired Arnold & Porter to lobby on merger-related issues. Samsung’s construction and trading arm is moving ahead with plans to merge with Cheil Industries, Samsung’s de facto holding company.

Fertilizer manufacturer CF Industries has hired Breaux Lott Leadership Group, of Squire Patton Boggs, to lobby on international taxation issues.

National Whistleblowers Legal Defense and Education Fund and Palantir Technologies Inc. have hired Capitol Tax Partners to lobby on issues related to awards to whistleblowers and tax issues relating to employee compensation.

Nest Investments (Holdings) Ltd. has hired Covington & Burling to lobby on issues related to mismanagement of Lebanese Canadian Bank and issues related to visa restrictions.

The city of Statesville, N.C. has hired Strategics Consulting to lobby on fiscal 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations, surface transportation reauthorization, FAA reauthorization, tax-exempt status of municipal bonds, e-fairness legislation and Waters of the U.S. rule.

Weather-related services providers Diversified Management Solutions, Ibex, Midwest Weather, Inc., Pacific Weather, Inc., RNR Technologies, Inc. and The Rockhill Group have hired McBee Strategic to lobby on FAA weather observation contracts.

Software developer PTC, Inc. has hired Capitoline Consulting to lobby on Defense Department appropriations legislation related to the Internet of Things.

Real estate trust Vornado has hired Carmen Group Inc. to lobby on securing government lease renewals.

Covenant Aviation Security and DeVry Education Group have hired Dentons to lobby on legislation impacting the federal Screening Partnership Program and issues regarding the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and Department of Education regulations for higher education institutions, respectively.

A to Z Communications Coalition, Spectra254 and Virgo Medical Services have hired Kelley Drye & Warren to lobby on policy relating to updating of telecommunications law, policy regarding ultraviolet light disinfectant efficacy and related procurement requirements, and GAO policy regarding reimbursement of legal fees, respectively.