With tax reform becoming the main focus of Congress, it should come as no surprise that many lobbyists have helped to weigh in on their own key interests. According to an analysis by Public Citizen, a government watchdog group, nearly half of all registered lobbyists in the nation’s capital have admitted to working on tax reform in some capacity. For reference, there are roughly 11,000 active lobbyists throughout all of Washington D.C.. To put this into perspective, about 11 lobbyists have worked on tax reform for every one member of Congress.
One of the main goals for many lobbyists, and the Republican Party as well, has been to reduce the corporate tax rate by substantial amount. While the exact numbers are still being worked on, the White House has already stated that it will not accept a corporate tax rate that is any higher than 20 percent. Aside from the sheer number of lobbyists that have worked on the tax bill, Public Citizen has also found that over 30 of the lobbyists have some kind of personal connection to either President Trump or Vice President Pence. One of the most common reasons for these connections is that many of the lobbyists were originally members of either Trump’s campaign or transition teams.
Although a variety of business groups have hired hundreds of lobbyists to represent their interests, some have taken a greater interest in tax reform than others. For instance, the pharmaceutical and insurance industries have brought in almost 600 lobbyists alone. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has 100.
Public Citizen has noted that although corporations are pouring a significant amount of money into lobbyists, the expected returns are even larger. If a tax reform bill can be passed, with the corporate tax rate cuts intact, it’s clear that businesses will save far more money than they could have ever otherwise spent on lobbyists in Congress. It’s for this reason that so many businesses are trying to spend as much as possible on an even bigger payday in the future. Unfortunately, as Public Citizen’s Lisa Gilbert has noted, it will be regular Americans that foot the bill for these corporate extravagances.