Lobbyists Double Spending in Six Years

Lobbying in Washington has quietly grown over the past years into a multi-billion dollar industry, according to a new report by the Center for Public Integrity. Since 1998, lobbyists have spent nearly $13 billion to influence members of Congress and federal officials on legislation and regulations. According to federal records, lobbying expenditures are expected to be at least $3 billion for 2004, doubling 1998 expenditures. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce tops the list of big spenders, paying out over $193 million to 24 firms since 1998. The Altria Group (formerly known as Philip Morris) spent over $125 million since 1998. CPI's extensive database includes information on all registered lobbyists, top clients, issues lobbied, and tracks the revolving door between lobby firms and government posts.