WASHINGTON--While companies across the board were losing record amounts of money and laying off employees last year, at least one industry seemed to weather the recession: lobbying. Special interests paid Washington lobbyists $3.2 billion in 2008, more than any other year on record and a 13.7 percent increase from 2007, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has found.
Analyzing 4th Quarter disclosure reports filed Jan. 20, the Center calculated that interest groups spent $17.4 million on lobbying for every day Congress was in session in 2008, or $32,523 per legislator per day.
"In this economy, most industries would have been elated to grow even half as much as the lobbying industry reported growing last year," Center for Responsive Politics Executive Director Sheila Krumholz said. "The federal government is handing out billions of dollars by the day, and that translates into job security for lobbyists who can help companies and industries get a piece of the payout."
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