lobbying

Joe Crowley, Bill Shuster decamp to K Street
Former members setting up at Squire Patton Boggs

Former Reps. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., seen here, and Bill Shuster, R-Pa., are joining promiment K Street firm Squire Patton Boggs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ex-Reps. Joseph Crowley, the New York Democrat who lost his primary race to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Republican Bill Shuster, who retired after the 115th Congress, are setting up shop on K Street.

The bipartisan duo is joining the global public policy practice at lobbying and law firm Squire Patton Boggs — home of other former lawmakers including House Speaker John A. Boehner and Sens. Trent Lott and John Breaux. The firm also had a now-severed strategic affiliation with Michael Cohen, the former attorney to President Donald Trump, who has since pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations.

Outside influences seek to remake ‘This Old House’
Outside interests are mobilizing to influence the new House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress

U.S. Capitol dome as seen from the west. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress’ “This Old House” committee, a brand-new panel tasked with helping to update the legislative branch for the modern era, is already sparking attention off of Capitol Hill.

Outside interests — from government overhaul groups and think tanks to tech industry players — are mobilizing to influence the new House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. The year-long, 12-lawmaker panel will offer recommendations for rehabilitating Congress in such areas as technology and cybersecurity, procedures and scheduling, staff retention and executive branch oversight.

The state of lobbying is, well, pretty darn good
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 56

Political Theater host Jason Dick, left, and CQ Roll Call lobbying reporter Kate Ackley discuss the state of lobbying with Julian Ha of Heidrick & Struggles. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

Last year, Julian Ha of Heidrick & Struggles said the swamp was “constipated,” as the lobbying world continued adjusting to the Trump administration and Congress. And now? Things are starting to flow again. Ha and CQ Roll Call lobbying reporter Kate Ackley discuss the state of lobbying, 2019 edition. 

High school e-cigarette use is exploding and reversing prevention gains
Monthly e-cigarette usage among high schoolers nearly doubled between 2017 and 2018, a new CDC report finds

Signs in the window of the Smoke Depot advertise electronic cigarettes and pods by Juul, the nation's largest maker of e-cigarette products, on Sept. 13, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The number of young people using tobacco products has reached its highest level in years, as e-cigarette popularity is reversing recent progress on other products that contain nicotine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday.

In recent years, the overall proportion of high school students using any tobacco products fell, mainly due to fewer students smoking cigarettes and cigars, the CDC said. But from 2017 to 2018, the number of high school students reporting e-cigarette use within the past month nearly doubled from 11.7 percent to 20.8 percent. That pushed their overall tobacco use rate from 19.6 percent to 27.1 percent in 2018.

Ilhan Omar called ‘anti-Semitic’ for tweet criticizing pro-Israel lobby
The spat spurred a conversation about the political influence of AIPAC

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tweeted about the influence of AIPAC, received swift rebuke. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., received an onslaught of criticism Sunday night for her tweet that ascribed Republicans’ fierce opposition to boycotting Israel to the power of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington, D.C.

“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” Omar tweeted Sunday in reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. 

The lobbyists: Roll Call’s people to watch in 2019
Are they worried the new Congress will make war on K Street? Do they look worried?

Michael Williams, a longtime banking and finance policy lobbyist, aims to bridge the divide between progressives and his clients. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump looms large on almost every important issue, but it won’t be all about him for some individuals on Roll Call’s list of People to Watch in 2019. 

The financial sector will be learning to survive a less business-friendly environment in the House, and a longtime Democratic lobbyist is well-positioned to lend a hand.

NRA shows signs of decline, even in Trump’s America
But the group isn’t letting up on its adversarial and sometimes snarky tone

Members of the Patriot Prayer Group sing the National Anthem during an “open carry” rally in Seattle on May 20. (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

The influence of the National Rifle Association, the nation’s highest-profile Second Amendment-rights organization and a longtime powerhouse against gun-control laws, is showing signs of potential decline.

The NRA’s own tax forms show a dip in revenue. And even as the group, now under the leadership of new president Oliver North of Iran-Contra fame, continues to spend big money on federal lobbying and political campaigns, its opponents in the gun-control movement, after decades of ever more deadly mass shootings and seemingly random incidents of gun violence, have been on the rise.

BLAKE Act targets future Blake Farentholds
Legislation is named for former congressman who reneged on repaying funds for sexual harassment settlement

The Bad Lawmakers Accountability and Key Emends Act is named for Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold might have resigned in disgrace, but he’s still making a mark on Capitol Hill.

The BLAKE Act, or the Bad Lawmakers Accountability and Key Emends Act, would bar any former member of Congress from behaving like Farenthold. Specifically, the legislation would prevent any member of Congress from cashing in on his time in office with a plum lobbying job if that member had used tax dollars to settle a sexual harassment claim and had not reimbursed federal coffers.

K Street women seek closer ties to female lawmakers
“The aim is to support the growth of women running for office”

A collection of female lobbyists and organizations is launching a new bipartisan effort, called 131 & Counting, to build connections with the unprecedented number of women serving in Congress and to encourage more women to run for office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The 131 female lawmakers on Capitol Hill have inspired a new collaboration on K Street that swaps in girl power for the ol’ boys club.

A collection of female lobbyists and organizations is launching a new bipartisan effort, called 131 & Counting, to fete the unprecedented number of women serving in the House and Senate (including four nonvoting delegates), to build connections with them, and to encourage more women to run for office.

Coal industry fought black lung tax as disease rates rose
Coal companies and industry groups lobbied against extending a tax program that provides a lifeline for sufferers and their families

An overview of a coal prep plant outside the city of Welch in rural West Virginia on May 19, 2017, in Welch, West Virginia. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

While cases of black lung disease among miners were on the rise last year, coal companies and industry groups lobbied lawmakers against extending a tax program that provides a lifeline for sufferers and their families.

Mandatory disclosures show the coal lobby spent some of its influence money on discussions with lawmakers regarding the Black Lung Excise Tax and the trust fund that helps pay for the health and living benefits of sick coal workers whose employers have gone bankrupt, and their beneficiaries.