Lobbying gold rush may persist despite divided Congress

Lobbying giants expect a historic earnings boom to continue, even as a divided Congress threatens to slow legislation to a crawl. The top Washington, D.C.,

lobbying firms on Friday reported massive earnings for the final three months of 2022, capping off a record-breaking year for K Street. The strong fourth-quarter

performance, which defied election season norms, boosted hopes that corporations will continue to spend big on D.C. lobbyists in the new year.  Lobbyists said that

clients are particularly interested in must-pass spending bills, the tenuous debt ceiling battle and GOP investigations that will implicate major companies.  “People

making the assumption nothing is going to happen over the next two years might be making a mistake,” said former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), a senior adviser at Squire Patton

Boggs, pointing to House Republicans’ investigations and proposals impacting the energy and tech industries.  Gridlock is bad for business. Lobbying spending hit record

levels in recent years amid bipartisan bills to combat COVID-19 and Democratic control of D.C., which introduced trillions of dollars in new government spending.  Demand

for lobbyists typically plummets when legislation stalls, but K Street is eyeing a host of bipartisan legislation.  “Contrary to predictions of partisan doom and gloom,

we expect significant activity around the debt limit, cryptocurrency, the farm bill, FAA and Defense reauthorizations, expiring TCJA [Tax Cuts and Jobs Act] tax provisions, and

issues regarding China,” said Brian Pomper, a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and former Democratic Senate aide.