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Around the Corner, September Legislative Agenda

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Birds of a feather flock together. On Monday, our nation's legislators will return, on winged flight, to finish up the year's legislative work in less than 30 days. The bills of most pertinent attention will likely be appropriations bills, defense authorization, and, if necessary, a continuing resolution. The Senate Democrats just released an e-mail describing their September legislative agenda and groups are lining up to fight over a number of bills. Below, I'm going to take a quick look at the influence game around three of the bills that will surely get a vote in the next three weeks.

There are three bills outside of appropriations and military authorization that will come up in September. These include S. 3268, a bill to restrain energy speculation markets; S. 3186, a bill to provide low income heating assistance; and H.R. 1338, a bill to end gender discrimination in workplace pay. Using MAPLight.org's listing of supporting and opposing interest groups and Open Secrets' campaign contribution and lobbying data I have created some graphs showing the level of money groups are pumping into these two influence channels, and which side is spending more.

[Update: I only used 2008 data for these numbers. Campaign finance data at Open Secrets is updated through the second quarter filing period, which covers contributions up to June 30, 2008. Lobbyist disclosures also go through the second quarter filing covering spending up to June 30, 2008.]

S. 3268 — Stop Excessive Energy Speculation Act of 2008

Lobbying Expenses Campaign Contributions
Supports $73,134,053 $21,380,743
Opposes $46,477,562 $101,408,193

S. 3186 — Warm in Winter and Cool in Summer Act

Lobbying Expenses Campaign Contributions
Supports $207,309,920 $86,470,652
Opposes $45,896,810 $1,431,898

H.R. 1338 — Paycheck Fairness Act

Lobbying Expenses Campaign Contributions
Supports $44,485,392 $56,076,024
Opposes $103,493,162 $28,316,738