Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Perspective on K Street

Gridlock frustrates even those inside Washington, according to an article that ran in The Hill yesterday.  Kevin Bogardus reports that lobbyists are planning ahead for a tumultuous November and December where Congress will have to act on a litany of policy items including the expiring Bush-era tax rates and a debt ceiling increase.

The combination of the scope of the agenda and the uncertainty regarding the parties' abilities to work together in the wake of a heated election are enough to "terrify" one lobbyist. Others fear that Congressional inaction will cause their clients to lose tax credits or preferential tax rates and are preparing to ensure that their pet clauses survive the chaos.

It's easy to vilify lobbyists for an alleged role in producing Gridlock, but Bogardus demonstrates that lobbyists are also scared by the growing inability of the parties to cooperate to produce policy. After all, some lobbyists want a lot of policy to emerge from Congress, just policy that benefits their clients. Lobbying contributes to gridlock, however, when lobbyists make the process of eliminating preferential treatments nearly impossible. Like any aspect of politics, the influence industry has its productive and deleterious attributes.

1 comment:

  1. An addendum to this post: The Hill reported last night that as a result the impending chaos that is raising hairs on K Street, lobby shops have seen and will likely see more clients heading their way. While K Street is nervous for the fates of their current client base, they are definitely embracing the prospect of new clients. Several firms are already seeing higher lobbying revenue for the first quarter of 2012 than the first quarter of 2011.

    Full article here: