NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Lobbying: Washington's Growth Industry

July 29, 1999

There are more lobbyists in Washington, D.C., than ever before and the industry is spending more then ever before. That conclusion is inescapable from figures analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics.

  • Last year, $1.42 billion was spend on Washington lobbying -- up 13 percent from the $1.25 billion that lobbyists were paid in 1997.
  • As of mid-1997, there were 14,946 lobbyists registered, but their numbers climbed to 18,590 one year later, and swelled to 20,512 as of this June 15.
  • The latest number represents 38 lobbyists for every member of the House and Senate.
  • Of the 13 broad economic sectors comprising the lobbying industry in Washington, businesses involved in real estate, insurance and finance make up the largest sector -- spending $203 million last year.

Not all lobbying efforts are directed at Capitol Hill, of course. Much is spent trying to persuade officials at various regulatory agencies and other executive branch decision-makers.

Source: David Stout, "Tab for Washington Lobbying: $1.42 Billion," New York Times, July 29, 1999.


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