Bottom Line

GUNS. Sandy Hook Promise, a gun control group founded in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, hired lobbying firm Guide Consulting Services. Disclosure forms show that lobbyists will be pushing lawmakers on government funding bills, targeting any provisions that handle mental health or “gun safety.” Gun control has long been a divisive aspect of appropriations legislation, and spending levels for specific programs over the last few decades essentially ban the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching aspects of gun violence. 

TRADE. The Mexican Chamber of Commerce, Consejo Coordinador Empresarial, hired Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to work on issues related to the North American Free Trade Agreement. President Trump has indicated that he wants to renegotiate the trade deal, a Clinton-era treaty formed between the United States, Canada and Mexico. He sent a formal letter to Congress last month that begins the renegotiation process, beginning a 90-day waiting period before U.S. trade officials can begin talking with the other countries about a reformulation.  

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GLOBAL FINANCIAL SERVICES.  Avenue Strategies Global, a firm run by former advisers to President Trump, signed the Bank of Beirut in Lebanon. It will be working with policymakers to better “[understand] banking in Lebanon,” disclosure forms say, without elaborating. Barry Bennett, who worked for then-presidential candidate Ben Carson before advising Trump, is the lobbyist on the contract. Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager, helped to found the firm but left earlier this year amid reports he was lobbying without disclosure.  

SHARKS. The McGrath Group is working for Oceana, a nonprofit focused on ocean conservation, on a set of bills aimed to outlaw “shark finning,” in which fishermen catch sharks, cut off prized fins and return the animals to the water. The fins are most often used in shark fin soup, a delicacy in many parts of Asia. Legislation in the House and Senate would make the possession, sale and purchase of shark fins illegal in the United States. The practice is illegal in the U.S., but the animal parts are often sold or traded here.