BY MICHAEL BECKEL – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the perennial No. 1 top spender on lobbying and a vocal opponent of many of the Obama administration’s top legislative priorities, once again ended the year with a lobbying surge.
Between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its subsidies spent $50.9 million on lobbying at the federal, state and grassroots levels, according to a Center for Responsive Politics review of reports filed with the Senate Office of Public Records Thursday. That’s a 38 percent increase above its third-quarter spending.
Overall in 2010, the Chamber spent $132 million on lobbying, down 8.6 percent from its all-time high of $144 million in 2009. Nevertheless, the Chamber again in 2010 ranked as the No. 1 top-spending lobbying client — although it should be noted that many organizations, unlike the Chamber, report only federal-level lobbying expenditures in these reports.
In 2009, the Chamber reported a whopping $79 million in fourth-quarter lobbying expenditures amid the legislative home stretch of Democrats’ health care reform and Wall Street reform plans.
Fourth-quarter lobbying reports were filed Thursday with the U.S. House and Senate. In the coming days and weeks, the Center for Responsive Politics will be integrating this new information into the OpenSecrets.org lobbying database and sharing trends and analysis here on the OpenSecrets Blog.