Chamber's lobbying spending hits $36M

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $36 million on lobbying during the first three quarters of 2013, according to disclosure records released Monday.

The powerful business group reported spending almost double that amount — $74.4 million — during the first three quarters of 2012.

This year’s total is sharply lower because the Chamber uses the IRS method to calculate its lobbying spending, which requires that voter education and grassroots spending be included. Because of that, the Chamber’s numbers typically rise in midterm and presidential election years.

In a report released Monday, the Chamber said it spent close to $12.2 million on lobbying for the third quarter of this year. That sum, added with the business group’s other quarterly figures for 2013, puts the Chamber’s lobbying spending at nearly $36.3 million so far for 2013.

"In the third quarter, the Chamber continued to be heavily engaged in advocating for issues critical to the business community, like immigration reform and energy. During August recess, the Chamber focused on continuing to educate members of Congress on the need for immigration reform in their districts, scheduling hundreds of events/meetings over recess," said Blair Latoff Holmes, a Chamber spokeswoman, in a statement.

"Moving forward, we will continue to work with members of the House, Senate, and administration to achieve longer-run solutions to our debt, deficit and entitlement challenges," Latoff said.
The Chamber’s 69-page disclosure filing details the group’s advocacy efforts from the beginning of July to the end of September, which was just before the government shutdown began.

The group reported lobbying on dozens of issues during the third quarter, including the implementation of the Dodd-Frank law; regulations for greenhouse gas emissions; several pieces of legislation dealing with patent reform; bills involving cybersecurity; as well as oversight of the National Labor Relations Board.

Monday was the deadline for lobby firms and interest groups to file their third quarter reports under the Lobbying Disclosure Act.

— This story was updated at 1:41 p.m.