Today’s mood: The return of Congress this week from recess is bringing lots of action. Paul Ryan has agreed to run for speaker if House Republicans will unite behind his bid, a House vote on the debt ceiling will likely come this week and the Senate is moving forward with a cybersecurity bill that could be voted on early next week.
Lobby firms reported their third quarter revenue on Tuesday. Many top firms are posting steady numbers for 2015 — Holland & Knight earned $14.8 million during the first nine months of 2015, virtually unchanged compared to the same period last year. K&L Gates held steady at $13.6 million, about the same as the first nine months of 2014.
Monument Policy Group is having a standout year, earning about $4 million so far in 2015 — a 20 percent hike compared to the same period last year. Akin Gump, the nation’s top-grossing firm, is also having a good year, posting $29.6 million in lobbying fees for the first nine months, a 14 percent jump compared to the same period in 2014.
Lobbyists bundling more campaign cash for Rubio: The amount of money Washington lobbyists raised for Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign more than doubled during the third quarter, while the amount raised for Jeb Bush fell about 20 percent during the same time frame. The new numbers arrive as Rubio’s campaign is making a push to recruit more lobbyists to bundle donations for the Florida Republican — including those backing Bush, who has enjoyed significant support from K Street.
Illegal lobbying practice got scant Pentagon attention: Several years ago, Pentagon auditors found that a quarter of the defense contractors they examined were trying to get the federal government to pay their lobbying costs — a violation of federal law. But the agency’s inspector general did not do follow-up investigations into whether these improper requests went beyond the six contractors the audit uncovered, reports Austin Wright in Politico.
Comings and goings
Kevin McGrann, executive director of Speaker John Boehner‘s political operation, will join AT&T‘s lobbying operation, the company announced Tuesday. McGrann will be among the first to depart Boehner’s office for K Street since the outgoing speaker announced his resignation in September, reports Megan Wilson in The Hill.
Amy Hanson Swonger, a lobbyist at Ernst & Young’s Washington Council and a former aide for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), is joining the lobby firm Heather Podesta + Partners. Swonger worked in the Senate leadership offices of McConnell and Trent Lott (R-Miss.).
Chris Wilkinson, former associate solicitor for civil rights and labor management at the Labor Department, has joined the law firm Orrick. Wilkinson litigated wage and hour discrimination and whistleblower cases — and helped lead enforcement and strategy at the agency’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
New lobbying contracts
Nestle Purina Pet Care has hired Olsson, Frank & Weeda to lobby on legislation relating to the pet food and pet care industries.
D2L Inc., Community and Southern Bank, and First Data Corp. have hired Capitol Counsel to lobby on issues related to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, issues related to the banking industry and issues related to financial services and cybersecurity.
CTIA-The Wireless Association has hired Les Brownlee & Assoc. to lobby on continuation of the reallocation and sharing of frequencies in the wireless band spectrum from government agencies with commercial users in the private sector.
Medtronic Inc. has hired Ernst & Young to lobby on international tax issues, including tax reform proposals, issues related to foreign direct investment and issues related to the extension of expiring business tax provisions.
Exxon Mobil has hired McGuire Woods to lobby on tax policy.
Humane Society Legislative Fund has hired Republic Consulting to lobby on issues related to animal cruelty prevention.
News Corp. has hired Elmendorf Strategies to lobby on competition issues in the media landscape and issues related to media and communications.
Sonos Inc. has hired Mayer Brown to lobby on international trade issues.
Warby Parker has hired Arnold & Porter to lobby on issues related to the Federal Trade Commission’s review of the eyeglass rule.
National Association of Broadcasters has hired Kelly Cole Strategies to lobby on broadcasting issues.
American Dairy Coalition has hired Laurie Fischer Group to lobby on improving visa or guest worker options for foreign nationals seeking to work on dairy farms.
Amazon.com has hired Lugar Group to lobby on issues related to the Marketplace Fairness Act.
DraftKings Inc. has hired Morgan Lewis & Bockius to lobby on issues related to fantasy sports.
SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment Inc. has hired Podesta Group to lobby on regulation of aquariums and marine parks.