Regulating Lobbying

Do current laws have too many loopholes?


Lobbying is undergoing a transformation. Once seen mainly as glad-handing influence peddlers buttonholing lawmakers in Capitol corridors, federal government lobbyists today face multiple challenges: A gridlocked Congress, an end to special-interest funding provisions known as earmarks that once created big business for lobbyists and an Obama administration that has taken steps to curtail their access and influence. Increasing numbers of lobbyists are calling themselves “strategic advisers” effectively to skirt a 2007 law enacted in response to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Since then, Congress has shown little interest in closing loopholes in lobbying laws, and many observers predict it will take another major scandal for any action to occur. Meanwhile, lobbyists are forming closer alliances with public relations firms and other entities while trying to ...

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