Special interests lobby on the debt ceiling


As Congress and the White House continue to search for a mechanism to raise the debt ceiling (the Senate "gang of six" have offered a new plan to end the deadlock), some of the biggest spending-special interests in the country are weighing in on the issue, according to a search of new lobbying disclosure records that are being released today.

So far, at least 141 lobbying entities have cited the term "debt ceiling" in lobbying disclosure forms filed, a search of filings from the House and Senate websites show, compared to just three  in the first quarter of the year. The House and Senate are still putting forms online, so that number might grow.

Among the 141 are several health insurance giants like Blue Cross and Blue Shield, oil companies such as Exxon Mobil and several pharmaceutical companies. And several business conglomerates are weighing in, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has reported spending more than $9 million this quarter, and the Business Roundtable, which has reported spending $2.73 million, filings show. Those numbers represent their total spending on all issues–not just on the debt ceiling.

Here is a quick look at what some of the heavy weight lobbying interests that mentioned the debt ceiling reported spending on all issues this quarter:

Client Amount spent on lobbying
Chamber of Commerce $9,040,000
AARP $4,680,000
Pfizer, Inc. $3,550,000
Business Roundtable $2,730,000
National Education Association $1,900,102
American Council of Life Insurers $1,777,300
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association $1,660,000
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. $1,490,000
American Academy of Family Physicians $1,423,439
Siemens Corporation $1,273,909