3:01 PM, Dec 11, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Tough times in the lobbying industry and the news is sure to be greeted with an outpouring of sympathy from across the land. As Kevin Bogardus and Megan R. Wilson of the Hill report:
Lobbyists say 2014 can’t be worse than 2013, when their revenue plunged as lawmakers battled through a government shutdown and punted on K Street cash cows like immigration and tax reform.
(Immigration a “cash cow.” Who knew?)
Just how bad are things. Well ...
In 2012, K Street reported taking in $3.31 billion in lobbying fees, down from the $3.33 billion firms earned in 2011, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Fourth-quarter reports for 2013 won’t come in until next month, but firms have only pulled down $2.38 billion so far, and are not on pace to match last year’s lobbying revenue.
As one partner at Patton Boggs explained:
“[Lobbying revenue] was down for obvious reasons. There was virtually nothing to lobby because Congress passed few bills and there was the continuing hangover from the economy,”
So lobbying is made less lucrative by gridlock in Congress. Another point for gridlock.
9:00 AM, Nov 18, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Washington, D.C. is booming. That's in large part because of a massive growth in lobbying expenditures and federal contracts.
4:02 PM, Oct 10, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Just because the government is shut down (sort of), that does not mean that members of Congress are magically relieved of the need for money to finance the next campaign during which they will spend the money to persuade constituents to return them to Washington to continue in their good work.
12:44 PM, Oct 8, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Cory Booker is this political season's designated superman. The stuff of legend. Kind of guy who hangs out with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Does all the cool digital stuff, like tweeting. (Can you believe it?) A natural. And so forth.
12:50 PM, Sep 23, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
The question at the core of most of today’s debates in American politics is whether all people have an unalienable right to keep the fruits of their own labor—as the Founders believed and the Declaration of Independence (properly understood) asserts—or whether the government should funnel vast sums of money to the nation’s capital and then magnanimously redistribute it back to the tributaries. Well, the stats are in, and it seems that neither of these two notions is really being fulfilled. To be sure, Americans’ money is flowing to the nation’s capital. But it’s not flowin
8:14 AM, Sep 20, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
In 2009, the Obama administration made news with an $18 million, five year contract to redesign Recovery.gov, the website the government set up to allow taxpayers to track the stimulus spending enacted by the president and Congress soon after President Obama took office.
12:11 PM, Sep 16, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
If the public is to understand the full awfulness of the sequester, it seems that it must first suffer. So, as Eric Katz reports at Government Executive, the FBI will be furloughing agents and cutting costs in a way that, according to its departing director will:
8:44 AM, Aug 29, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
The state of Alabama received bonus payments from Medicaid for 2009 and 2010 that were a stunning 13 times higher than the state was eligible for. So says the inspector general (IG) for Health and Human Services in a report released on Wednesday.
7:04 AM, Aug 26, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Department of Defense is looking at some serious cutbacks in its civilian workforce, as Tony Capaccio of Bloomberg writes:
2:46 PM, Aug 21, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
This week, the State Department announced that, in "an important symbol of our enduring friendship with Benin," construction has begun on a new $178 million embassy complex in the small West African nation, a neighbor of Togo and Nigeria. As is often the case in the construction of new U.S.
1:27 PM, Jul 17, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Say you are a company that builds and operates large retail stores, selling consumer goods at desirable prices and that you have been successful across the land. Let's call you ... oh, Walmart.
7:02 AM, Jul 16, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Despite an admission by the Department of Transportation (DOT) that the Federal-aid Highway Programs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) are "susceptible to significant improper payments," the DOT Inspector General (IG) has terminated an audit initiated in April "due to other higher priority work demands."
"The $1.5 billion question."9:24 AM, Jul 8, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
As we've learned over the last few days, there is a lot hanging on the meaning of the word "coup." Or, more precisely, the answer to this question: Was Egyptian President Morsi removed from office by a military coup?
In Copenhagen, $430,285.70 for hotel and $200,629 for limousines.9:53 AM, Jun 29, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
The Washington Times reports that the cost of Obama's Africa trip, estimated as high as $100 million, is overshadowing President Obama's agenda. If past VIP trips are any indication, lodging and local transportation would represent only a fraction of the $100 million, yet those costs would likely still dwarf those of the average citizen traveling abroad. In late March, Vice President Joe Biden's $321,000 limo bill and $585,000 Paris hotel bill for his trip to Europe earlier this year were revealed.