Sunday night owls: Federal lobbying soared to near-record $3.47 billion in 2019

Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week

Karl Evers-Hillstrom at OpenSecrets’ Center for Responsive Politics writes—Lobbying spending in 2019 nears all-time high as health sector smashes records:

Federal lobbying spending surpassed $3.47 billion last year, a nine-year high, as influential industries tried to sway the Trump administration and Congress over policies that would hurt the bottom lines of some of the nation’s most powerful companies.

Not accounting for inflation, lobbying spending in 2019 falls just behind the record $3.51 billion spent in 2010 amid a lobbying bonanza around the Affordable Care Act.

The massive figure was driven by lobbying on President Donald Trump’s priorities, particularly the administration’s tariffs and trade deal with Mexico and Canada, as well as proposals in Congress to address rising drug prices and expensive surprise medical bills. As a result, several influential sectors reached all-time lobbying spending records last year.

Amid proposed overhauls to various aspects of the healthcare system, both from Congress and the Trump administration, the health sector spent a record $594 million on lobbying last year, up nearly 5 percent from 2018.

Within the sector, the pharmaceuticals/health products industry spent a record $295 million to combat legislation from House Democrats to regulate drug prices, and to fight drug price controls proposed by the Trump administration. The Trump administration’s proposals have stalled, as has drug pricing legislation in Congress. Drugmakers were dealt one blow when the Trump administration’s industry friendly provisions in the North American trade deal were stripped from the final package amid outrage from lawmakers. […]




“We deny the snobbish English assumption that the uneducated are the dangerous criminals. We remember the Roman Emperors. We remember the great poisoning princes of the Renaissance. We say that the dangerous criminal is the educated criminal.”
          ~~G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday, (1908)



(Government sources estimate the number of American military personnel who have been afflicted with traumatic brain injuries since 2001 at 276,000—MB)


At Daily Kos on this date in 2011—Texas governor declares fast-track emergency for abortion restrictions:

Remember how Texas is having such a huge budget crisis that the Legislature has been forced to slash funding for one of its favorite pet projects, crisis pregnancy centers?

Well, apparently, the budget crisis is over because Gov. Rick Perry is insisting that the Legislature focus its attention on the most important issue ever:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has suggested to pro life activists that a bill in the Texas Legislature requiring women seeking abortions to have a sonogram taken of their fetus will be placed on the emergency fast track for passage.

That’s right — passing even greater restrictions on women’s access to reproductive health care is an emergency in Texas, budget be damned. Not to mention that this legislation, if it passes, will inevitably lead to litigation, as it has in pretty much every other state where similar laws have been enacted. Nothing like a costly lawsuit to really help out with the state’s budget crisis, huh, Governor?

This is the same Gov. Perry who, less than two years ago, declared that Texas might have to secede from the union because “the federal government has become oppressive. I believe it’s become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of its citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state.”

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for “Netroots Radio.”


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