4TH QUARTER LOBBYING DISCLOSURE REPORTS
–Lobbying disclosure reports covering the period from October 1 to December 31 are due in today. There are already over 8000 documents submitted ahead of today’s deadline. Some preliminary highlights:
As of January 19: 191 documents cite lobbying on H.R. 4853, the tax cut compromise between President Obama and congressional Republicans. … Of the 52 organizations listed as lobbying the CFTC on Dodd-Frank implementation, 16 do not appear on the CFTC web site’s disclosing outside contacts on Dodd-Frank implementation.
More to come today…
OCE MEMBERS RENEWED
—Roll Call: “House leaders reappointed the Office of Congressional Ethics’ eight-member board Wednesday night, allowing the quasi-independent office to approve new investigations at its scheduled meeting Friday.”
They can begin by reviewing the swearing-in fundraiser that found Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick and Pete Sessions as non-congressmen congressmen for a moment.
SUPREME COURT GETS PERSONAL
—New York Times: The Supreme Court began hearings on the case AT&T vs. FCC. AT&T is claiming personal privacy protections to allow them to prevent the disclosure of documents it had provided to the FCC in the course of an investigation from being obtained by a third party seeking them through the Freedom of Information Act.
“The claim that corporations have personal privacy rights met with widespread skepticism on Wednesday during a lively Supreme Court argument. …
…several justices said it was too much of a leap to go from saying that corporations might be “persons” for some purposes to saying that their “personal privacy” could be invaded.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said he could think of many instances “where the adjective was very different from the root noun.”
“You have craft and crafty,” he said. “Totally different. Crafty doesn’t have much to do with craft. Squirrel, squirrelly. Right?”
“Pastor and pastoral,” he went on. “Same root, totally different.”
Also sounding skeptical were Antonin Scalia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer.
QUIET IN THE HEALTH CARE LOBBY
—Politico: “The health care industry’s biggest trade groups have remained uncharacteristically neutral on the Republican effort to repeal the health care reform law, choosing instead to save their political capital for smaller, more targeted changes that have a chance at becoming law. … This method of laying low makes perfect sense, according to Chris Jennings, who was senior health care adviser to former President Bill Clinton. Rather than support the repeal effort, which has little chance of becoming law, PhRMA and AHIP are saving their firepower for more practical targets.”