Record $2.79B Spent Lobbying Last Year

Health-product industry leads way in seemingly 'recession-proof' uptick
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2008 3:49 PM CDT
Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric Co.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
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(Newser) – Lobbyists made a record-breaking $2.79 billion on Capitol Hill last year, beating 2006’s record by $200 million. The healthcare industry led the way, spending $227 million on attempts to influence legislators, up 25% from the year previous. The insurance and real-estate sectors were right behind, Reuters reports. The biggest single spender was the Chamber of Commerce, followed by General Electric.

Computer and Internet companies also made a strong showing, at $111 million. The securities industry bested its 2006 outlay by 40%, finishing at $87 million spent persuading lawmakers. "Lobbying seems to be a recession-proof industry," said a representative of the watchdog group that tallied the spending. "In some respects, interests seek even more from our government when the economy slows.”