Sunrise (4/21/11)

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LOBBYING PUSH ON DEBT LIMIT

Reuters: “The Republican freshmen are seen as a crucial voting bloc in the looming battle over whether to allow the U.S to go deeper into debt to avoid defaulting on its loans. … The lobbying campaign is unusual in that it spans almost the entire financial and business community — often natural allies of the Republicans who now oppose them on the debt issue. … The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has held dozens of meetings with Republican freshman on the debt ceiling issue, is sending a letter to every member of Congress next month urging them to vote to raise it. … “We have told them we understand it’s a tough vote,” said R. Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs at the Chamber. “But we also tell them this is about the full faith and credit of the United States and the consequences of a no vote will be dramatic.” … The Financial Services Forum, a financial policy organization that includes the CEOs of some of Wall Street’s biggest banks such as JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) and Bank of America (BAC.N), has focused almost exclusively on the House Republican freshmen. … FSF officials have held meetings with freshmen and their staff in their Capitol Hill offices, in the FSF’s Washington office and in “meet and greet” sessions over coffee.”

DIVIDED GOVERNMENT BAD FOR LOBBYING BUSINESS

The Hill: “On Wednesday, lobby firms began to disclose their first quarterly revenue for 2011 as required under the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA). Records show that most firms’ earnings either flat-lined or fell off when compared to 2010’s first quarter. … One reason for the decline is Capitol Hill has not been the legislative factory it was when Democrats controlled both chambers.”

FRESHMEN RAISE PAC CONTRIBUTIONS

WaPo: “Many of the Republican freshmen in the House won election vowing to shake up Washington, so it’s a little surprising that many of them seem to be playing an old Washington game: raising much of their campaign money from corporate political action committees. … More than 50 members of the class of 87 GOP freshmen took in more than $50,000 from PACs during the first quarter of 2011, according to new campaign disclosure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Eighteen of the lawmakers took in more than $100,000.”

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