Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lobbyists Enjoy Windfall Despite Pledges to Rein In Special Interest Influence

Health care reform made the public mad, and it made lobbyists rich. Though President Obama promised during the 2008 campaign to curb the influence of special interests, slap a leash on lobbyists and "put the interests of Main Street in front of K Street and Wall Street," the past year hasn't exactly live up to that standard. Special interest spending on Capitol Hill broke records in 2009, topping $3.47 billion. And almost half of the president's recess appointments last weekend were tied to or work for so-called special interests. Finance figures show those interests are giving huge sums to Democrats and Republicans alike -- but while the influence game is hardly the problem of one party, the legislative frenzy on Capitol Hill has only inflated it over the past year. The health care industry led the pack in terms of special interest spending, pumping out $266 million in 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics...more

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