Companies spent nearly $840M on lobbying in the first quarter of 2017. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the amount paid was the highest in five years. The number one lobbyist was Big Pharma and the health products sector, which spent nearly $80M in the first quarter, an increase of $10M over the same period last year. The next was the insurance sector, which spent $40.2M, also showing an increase, in an effort to have input into the ACA.
The oil and gas pumped another $36M into lobbying, with Chevron increasing its lobbying efforts by 77% to $3.3M, compared to last year. Another organization that tripled its amount was the National Rifle Association (NR), the gun lobby spent $2.2M.
In January Trump issued an executive order that did away with President Obama’s 2009 rule that executive branch appointees could not accept jobs in agencies they recently lobbied. And despite Trump’s tough talk on lobbyists, he has let quite a few of them in the White House and federal agencies. And since Trump has made it difficult to tell who has visited him, by keeping the logs private, everyone can only speculate, how many lobbyists have been in the White House.