The Big 5-0
According to new analysis from The Hill, a group of 50 elite companies and trade associations spent $714 million on lobbying in 2015, more than a quarter of all the money spent on lobbying the federal government. In 2015 to make the top 50 lobbying spenders, a company or trade association must have spent at least $7.77 million on lobbying, a little less than a 1% decrease from the $7.83 million threshold for the top 50 in 2014. The Hill reports, “while $714 million is an eye-popping figure, it is a 5 percent drop from 2014, when the top 50’s spending totaled roughly $749 million, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.”
The 2015 legislative calendar saw a few large battles including over the Export-Import Bank and the Trade Promotion Authority. According to The Hill, “Several groups heavily involved in both those issues, including the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers, increased their lobbying expenditures by at least 30 percent.” The National Association of Manufacturers began steadily ramping up its lobbying spending since 2013, spending $7.6 million, $12.4 million in 2014 and $16.9 million in 2015.
In 2015 five new companies or trade associations break into the top 50 list. The new additions included Qualcomm (No. 48), Amazon (No. 35), UPS (No.45), Oracle (No. 40) and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (No. 50).
Other highlights from The Hill’s report include Boeing surpassing Google and Comcast “as the top corporate spender on lobbying as it fought to save the Export-Import Bank. The aerospace giant spent $21.9 million on lobbying last year, a 30 percent increase over the $16.8 million it spent in 2014.” Additionally, “Amazon and the Grocery Manufacturers Association posted the biggest percentage increases in lobbying spending last year, with increases of 91 percent and 83 percent, respectively.”
See the full list here.