This year is on track for record lobbying spending after lobbyists collectively clocked the biggest first quarter haul in history — with more than $1 billion disclosed during the first quarter of 2022 alone.
At this point, 2021, 10,503 lobbyists had raised less than $929 Million across all industries.
The federal budget was the most heavily lobbied topic from January through March. There were 3,394 clients who paid for lobbying on this issue. Health issues were also heavily lobbied with 2,068 clients.
As the recovery from the coronavirus epidemic continues, lobbying for health continues to dominate spending.
The health sector accounted for about $187 million in this year’s first quarter and $689 million over the course of 2021. There are 3,130 lobbyists who work for the health sector last year, nearly half — 47.8% — had taken a swing in the revolving doorAs former government employees.
The sector is characterized by the following: pharmaceuticals and health productsIndustry continues to be a major lobbyist as many companies fight drug pricing regulations, deal with supply chain issues, and seek approval for vaccines.
Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of AmericaWith nearly $8.3million in spending, the country ranked third in the first quarter 2022. The pharmaceuticals industry trade groupThe third largest lobbyist spent more than $30M in 2021,
Blue Cross/Blue ShieldWith $7.6 million in the first three quarters of 2022, it is the fourth-highest lobbying spender. The health insurance company spent more than $25,000,000 on lobbying last year, making them the fifth largest lobbying spender overall for 2021.
The American Hospital AssociationThe American Medical AssociationThey are also major lobbying spenders, with $6.6 million each in spending during the first quarter 2022. They were also neck-and-neck in 2021, with their national associations spending approximately $20 million each on lobbying during the year. This placed them among the top spenders. Along with its state affiliates, the American Hospital Association’s federal lobbying spending topped $25 million in 2021.
America’s Health Insurance Plans spent another $4.7 million on lobbying in the first quarter of this year, more than any prior quarter in the health insurance industry trade group’s history.
Biotechnology Innovation OrganizationThe first quarter of the year saw nearly $3.2 million spent on lobbying. While this is a decrease in lobbying spending, it still remains a strong influencer for the biotechnology sector.
Lobbying Stalwarts Maintain Top Position in the Spending Charts
While the health industry dominates overall, the top spender of this year’s first quarter was the U.S. Chamber of CommerceWith approximately $19 million in lobbying expenditures
A long-term top lobbying spenderThe Chamber spent $66 million in lobbying alone in 2021, more than $1.7B since 1998. The business lobbying group’s heavy spending made it the top lobbying spender of 2021 despite fallout among Republicans after the Chamber’s endorsement of 30 Democrats seeking House seats in 2020, which led to several key officials parting waysTogether with the group criticismFrom GOP lawmakers.
The Chamber is also a major spender on elections, spending millions of dollars on ads targeting politicians it may later lobby. During the 2020 election cycle, the Chamber’s spending on electioneering communications – which can boost and attack candidates without explicitly advocating for their election or defeat – topped $5.7 million.
The National Association of RealtorsThe second highest lobbying spender, with more than $12 million in its first quarter of the year, was the United States.
As it faced further challenges, the Realtors association was also second in spending in 2021. scrutinyThe Justice Department provided information on antitrust issues and invested approximately $40 million in lobbying spending during the last year. The association’s 2020 lobbying spending topped $84 millionThe association spent the most on lobbying in any given year and more than any other organisation.
While the association’s lobbying spending dipped in 2021, it has a history of dropping in non-election years. The association’s $12 million in first quarter spending is over $4 million more than it spent on lobbying during the same period last year but still about $1.5 million less than it spent during the first quarter in 2020.
Like the Chamber, the National Association of RealtorsIt also spends money to influence U.S. election directly, with its affiliated political parties, pouring more that $20 million into 2020 spending.
Technology companies were also among the top 10 lobbying spenders of 2022’s first quarter.