• EDUCATION. A former Republican congressman recently signed Social Finance as a client. Former Rep. Tom Coleman (Mo.), through his firm Tom Coleman Associates, will be lobbying for the financial services company on student loan refinancing. SoFi, as it’s called on its website, says it provides lower loan rates through refinancing and offers “unemployment protection” that allows borrowers to suspend their payments while accruing interest charges.
• HEALTHCARE. Second Sight Medical Products Inc. has hired the law firm Reed Smith to lobby on having its visual prosthetics system covered by Medicare. The company manufactures the Argus II retinal prosthesis system, which it says is the first product to restore some sight to people who suffer from blindness. Two lobbyists will be working on the Second Sight account, including Robert Helland, a former legislative assistant to former Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.).
A company that bills itself as the world’s first bitcoin investment fund has registered to lobby. Brett Stapper, the managing director of Falcon Global Capital, filed registration forms last week, becoming the second person to officially lobby on the cryptocurrency. One of MasterCard’s outside firms, Forbes-Tate, became the first to lobby on bitcoin when it reported the activity on first quarter forms.
• ZOOS: Consultant Jason Osborne will be lobbying for Big Cat Rescue, working on the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, which would ban keeping lions, tigers and other big cats as pets and prohibit breeding or transporting the animals across state lines. The wildlife sanctuary has come out in support of the legislation, calling it “the most important piece of legislation to ever be introduced to protect lions, tigers and other exotic wild cats from being kept as pets and in miserable roadside zoos.”