With every item on the federal budget slated for re-examination in light of the current concerns over tearing away at the budget deficit, corporate, state, and association interests are finding their issues increasingly at risk. From Social Security and Medicare to defense authorizations and energy investments, nothing is safe from the budgetary chopping block.
Agriculture, transportation and healthcare are expected to be big topics of contention, and as such, companies in those industries in particular will increase Hill activity in the coming months as the 2011 budget is authorized and decisions are made regarding bills with long-term implications.
This is great news for lobbyists. Government relations activity should see a sharp increase, as organizations scramble to educate incoming Congressmen who, on the heels of their campaign momentum, will be eager to slash spending, and vie for their programs to remain untouched. AARP, the National Home Builders Association, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, and the American Petroleum Institute, among others, have already made efforts to increase their efforts on Capitol Hill.
Though seemingly, the Republican vow to eliminate earmarks could be a death sentence for lobbyists who previously hit it big with earmarks, Roll Call reports that some lobbyists see this as merely an opportunity for members of their profession. Grassroots social media efforts will need to be beefed up, and lobbyists may find themselves spending a lot of time educating on the need for certain programs, in an effort to curb the enthusiasm of freshman Senators and Representatives to take a cleaver to the budget.