US Chamber Spends a Record $300,000 Per Day on Lobbying

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

There’s at least one part of the US Chamber of Commerce that is not shrinking: its lobbying spending. 

The Chamber’s third-quarter lobbying expenditures, released today, tally to a jaw-dropping $34.7 million.

That record-breaking amount translates into more than $300,000 in lobbying per day. Or, as Politico notes, more than the sum of the next 18-highest filers so far, including UPS, General Dynamics, Koch Industries, and Microsoft, which together spent less than $14 million.

This quarter’s Chamber filing is notable only in trumping previous ones; the group has consistently led Washington in lobbying expenditures in recent years. Roll Call reports that the Chamber is weighing in on appropriations bills, economic stimulus and trade legislation, health care reform, weapons acquisition reform, energy and climate change, union organizing, and transportation issues.

Working from within the Chamber allows companies to influence legislation anonymously, avoiding the negative publicity associated with controversial policy positions.

Some of the Chamber’s lobbying interests are more obscure than others. According to Roll Call, one lobby report lists a proposal “to amend title 18 United States Code, to include constrictor snakes of the Python genera as an injurius animal.”

Too bad that a recent government report found that giant pythons, boas, and anacondas may wreak havoc on South Texas and Florida–a trend that can only be exacerbated by global warming. Maybe if melting ice caps can’t get the Chamber on board for a climate bill, the prospect of being eaten by giant reptiles on the next trip to Disney World will.



Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend