No, there’s no such piece of legislation actually called “The Lobbyist Enrichment Act.” But that’s what The Examiner calls President Obama’s Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Borrowing $787 billion from the next generation and spending it as rapidly as possible may or may not provide a jolt to the U.S. economy. But one thing is certain: H.R. 1, the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has already triggered a lobbying boom, suggesting once again that the Age of Obama will be a golden age for K Street.
The stimulus has spurred small companies to jump into the lobbying game for the first time and big companies to bring in new hired guns.
For example, the National Association of Home Builders hired Baker & Hostetler a week after Barack Obama’s inauguration to lobby explicitly on the stimulus bill, which, in the end, included an $8,000 credit for home purchases.
Better Place Inc. is an electric car company that hired its first lobbyist — Steve McBee, a former staffer for House appropriator Norm Dicks, D-Wash. — to push for electric car incentives in the stimulus. The resulting cornucopia included an expanded tax credit for plug-in cars, $2 billion in funding for electric car batteries and $400 million to build an electric car infrastructure, complete with recharging stations.
Media giant Time Warner added to its lobbying army, hiring the firm Parven Pomper Strategies to lobby for broadband subsidies in the bill. These subsidies included $2.5 billion to underwrite loans to get broadband out to rural areas and an additional $4.7 billion in spending on other broadband projects. Similarly, network giant Cisco Systems lobbied for the broadband subsidies in H.R. 1.