In one of Howard Marlowe’s first acts as president of the American League of Lobbyists, he decried President Obama’s State of the Union remarks as being “inflammatory,” saying “The President’s State of the Union remarks were especially disheartening, because they were made in a speech that was focused on unifying, not dividing our nation.”
Obama has been notably harsh on lobbyists in his speeches, beginning even with the primary campaign leading up to the 2008 election. Despite these remarks, there have been multiple reports that he has consulted lobbyists on several matters, including the budget proposal on which he is currently working. Marlowe mentioned the president’s not-so-quiet history of working with lobbyists, saying “The Administration often reaches out to representatives of industries, labor unions, and other ‘special interests’ to get their advice.”
He goes on to retort that professional lobbyists provide an invaluable service to citizens, legislators and regulators in addition to the clients they represent. Marlowe also argues, in what seems to be in response to Obama’s assertion that “lobbyists have rigged the tax code,” that “When members of Congress weigh the information provided by professional lobbyists, it is they and not lobbyists who have the votes to decide what is in the best interests of their constituents and the nation.”
Marlowe called on Congress to not cede the authority to review, examine and adjust the budget proposals that are submitted by the executive branch. He states, “ALL is opposed to any action that limits elected officials from fully representing their constituents,” which he contends earmarks help them to do. Read Marlowe’s full statement on the League’s facebook page.