Chamber sees spending drop in off-election year

Political spending by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dropped by nearly one-third in 2015, according to new lobbying data.

After spending over $90 million in 2014, a midterm election year, the business lobbying giant's total dropped to $62.4 million in 2015, a 31 percent decline.


New disclosure forms posted Wednesday show the Chamber spent $14.7 million in the final quarter of 2015, compared with $21.3 million during the same time a year earlier.

The Chamber is one of K Street’s most prolific spenders and, like most groups, ramped up its advocacy work ahead of the 2014 midterms that gave Republicans control of the Senate. Chamber spending peaked in the third quarter of 2014, when it spent $28.35 million.

The lengthy form posted by the Chamber on Wednesday shows the business lobby engaged in a host of big issues on Capitol Hill at the end of 2015. The Chamber worked on topics including trade, energy, financial regulation and appropriations.

Unlike most business groups in Washington, the Chamber uses the IRS method to calculate its advocacy spending, which includes lobbying as well as grassroots organizing and independent expenditures on election ads.