Lobbyists Fight for Funding as Congress Sees Productivity Dip
Republicans and Democrats are working furiously to divvy up the remaining $1 trillion in government funds just as the holiday break approaches, and the two parties are attempting to avoid conflict in favor of getting the job done.
Those jostling for cash include lobbyists for programs that had budgets slashed as a result of the sequester, as well as new groups looking to get a chunk of the resources. Reuters notes these are groups for medical research, education, business interests, and more. “They absolutely know what our priorities are. At this point I don’t think their phones need to be ringing off the hook,” John Hopkins lobbyist Beth Felder said of members of Congress to the news service.
According to NPR, this Congress, the 113th, has seen less than 60 laws come into being. That amounts to the least Congressional productivity since 1947. One lobbyist, Howard Marlowe, told NPR that this year has been “one of the driest periods in the 35 years that I’ve been lobbying.” Marlowe said that many committees in Congress don’t have much interest in government programs anymore.