Today’s mood: The House and Senate are on recess this week, but lobbyists for business groups and corporations are scrambling to map out a path for renewing the charter for the Export-Import Bank. On Friday, the bank’s supporters in the House, led by Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), filed a rare procedural motion called a discharge petition that will force the House to vote on the bank, probably on Oct. 26.

What is unclear, however, is how the House bill could advance beyond that point. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reiterated he will not allow a vote on Ex-Im as a standalone bill. The Senate over the summer approved a highway bill with Ex-Im attached, but that bill has yet to be considered in the House.

The challenge for Ex-Im supporters is whether they can find a way to attach a reauthorization of the export credit agency to legislation that can get through Congress.


U.S. airlines lobby Congress, agencies for more protection against foreign competition: The three big legacy carriers — Delta, American and United — are pressing the Obama administration to protect them from competition from foreign airlines, reports Joan Lowy in The Associated Press. From the story: “At the urging of the big three and the Air Line Pilots Association, 262 House members and 22 senators wrote the administration asking for a freeze in the number of flights to the U.S. now allowed for three Persian Gulf airlines — Emirates, Etihad and Qatar — and discussions with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar about whether those airlines are violating aviation treaties with the U.S.”

Fantasy sports site FanDuel makes first lobbing hire as industry faces scrutiny: Daily fantasy sports website FanDuel hired lobbyists at Steptoe & Johnson, days after the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee called for hearings into the daily fantasy sports industry and its relationship with professional sports leagues, reports David McCabe in The Hill. The lobbyists are James Barnette, a former aide to the committee, and Lisa Mortier, former legislative aide to Rep. Richard Baker (R-La.)

Mark Penn’s investment fund to buy PR firm SKDKnickerbocker: Penn, a former pollster and political strategist for Bill Clinton, left Microsoft in June to start Stagwell Group, a private equity firm investing in digital marketing services. SKDK will continue to operate independently and the purchase price was not disclosed, reports Isaac Arnsdorf in Politico. As of June, Stagwell Group had raised $250 million in funding, including from former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.

Oil, utility giants lobby on California’s new clean energy law: A law signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown last week requires the state to increase renewable electricity use to 50 percent and double the energy efficiency of buildings by 2030, The Associated Press reports. California’s largest private utilities PG&G, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric spent $2 million during the first half of the year lobbying the state government on dozens of bills, including the one that eventually became law. From the story: “That was more than Chevron, Valero, Shell and BP combined in that same period, according to lobbying reports filed with the state. The oil companies did not oppose the goal of increasing electric power but point out that the state already has policies to diversify transportation fuel sources.”

Comings and goings

Leader of Covington’s lobby practice heads to Wal-Mart: Dan Bryant, who leads the lobbying group at Covington & Burling, will become the head of Wal-Mart’s new global public policy and government affairs section, reports Megan Wilson in The Hill. Bryant, who was previously the top lobbyist for PepsiCo, is slated to start at Wal-Mart on Nov. 9.

Head of lobbying association to depart: Robert Hay Jr., the executive director of the Association of Government Relations Professionals (formerly known as the American League of Lobbyists), will leave the group in November.

Shannon Kellman, a former lobbyist for J Street, has joined the office of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) as a legislative aide.

New lobbying contracts

Smiths Group has hired Ogilvy Government Relations to lobby on liquid pipeline safety performance and voluntary standards for mechanical seals.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce-U.S. Mexico Leadership Initiative has hired Atrius Group to lobby on promotion of U.S.-Mexico economic engagement, CEO dialogue and leadership initiatives.

Delta Airlines has hired Peck Madigan to lobby on issues relating to Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, state-owned enterprises, federal budget and fees.

The American Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Law Section has hired Stoll IP Consulting to lobby on legislation relating to trade secrets, copyrights and patents.

AirMap Inc. has hired Hogan Lovells to lobby on policy issues related to unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Corn Refiners Association has hired Williamson Law + Policy to lobby on regulation by administrative agencies of agricultural production and processing, and the domestic sugar program.

The National Association of Manufacturers has hired McGuire Woods to lobby on EPA ozone emissions standard.

G.E. Aviation has hired Stapleton & Associates to lobby on aircraft engines on military aircraft.

The National Wildlife Federation has hired Watershed Results to lobby on forest management, HR 2467 and Interior and related agencies appropriations.

Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. has hired Mayer Brown to lobby on international tax policy as it relates to Puerto Rico.

Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. has hired Polsinelli & Shughart to lobby on tax reform.

Motorola Solutions Inc. has hired Heather Podesta & Partners to lobby on public safety communications, wireless spectrum policy, Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (FirstNet), criminal justice reform and cybersecurity.

SecureKey Technologies has hired Hogan Lovells to lobby on policy issues related to the firm’s technology.