The election-year lull in congressional action doesn’t appear to be hurting K Street which in busy years gets its bulk of income from lobbying for and against Hill legislation.
While the latest lobbying data for the first quarter of 2012 does some show firms losing congressional lobbying clients, the industry reports that its focus is turning to the administration and federal agencies where business is booming.
But not recorded in those documents is the surge in monitoring agencies, key in the fourth year of a presidency when new administration regulations on big industries and laws like Obamacare passed in earlier years are now being digested at the executive level.
At Patton Boggs, which lost 27 clients this year, “We’re actually having a gangbuster year,” said spokesman and partner Kevin O’Neill. “‘We’re still the one,’ is being played around the offices.” He added that the shift from Hill to agency monitoring is part of the “evolution of the legislative cycle.”
Still, others said that the economy continues to eat away at the lobbying biz. “I have seen the downtown lobby business slow down a bit,” said another prominent Hill lobbyist. “Companies are cutting back in a tight economy.”