Sunrise (5/9/11)

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BATTLE OVER CU EO UNDERWAY

LAT: “A lobbying battle is raging largely behind the scenes over a seemingly obscure executive order that could — if signed by President Obama — make public the political spending that many corporations can now keep secret. … Under the proposed order, all companies bidding for federal contracts would be required to disclose money spent on political campaign efforts, including dollars forwarded through associations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other private groups. … The chamber is pressing top White House officials, including Chief of Staff William Daley, who worked closely with the group when he was an executive at JPMorgan Chase, to push Obama to drop the executive order. … The chamber also has corralled its allies on Capitol Hill. More than two dozen Republican senators, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and chairmen of 19 House committees signed letters to the president arguing that the order would inject political favoritism into the contracting process. Two House committees will hold a joint hearing Thursday to push administration officials on the matter.”

PAKISTAN’S LOBBYISTS

AP: “Within hours of the stunning announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. commandos, a lobbying firm representing Pakistan’s government began contacting members of Congress and their staffs to counter claims Islamabad protected the al-Qaida chief for nearly six years. … The push by Locke Lord Strategies to turn the tide against criticism of Pakistan — and preserve the country’s billions of dollars in U.S. aid — illustrates one of Washington’s enduring realities: No matter the issue or the crisis, lobbyists are working behind the scenes to shape opinions on Capitol Hill. … At stake is the continued flow of U.S. economic aid and military support to Pakistan, America’s iffy partner in the fight against terrorism and religious extremism. Congress is not expected to shut off the nearly $3 billion in assistance planned for 2012. Despite deep misgivings, the U.S. does not want to allow Pakistan to become unstable and risk having its nuclear arsenal fall into the hands of Islamic radicals.”

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