Politics Cash floods K Street as Democrats focus on spending and taxes
Europe picks through rubble from deluge as death toll soars
Troops and firefighters were called in Saturday to help villagers launch a mammoth clean up after the worst floods to hit western Europe in decades left over 150 people dead and dozens more missing. In neighbouring Belgium, the death toll jumped to 20 with more than 21,000 people left without electricity in one region. Luxembourg and the Netherlands were also hammered by heavy rains, inundating many areas and forcing thousands to be evacuated in the city of Maastricht.Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel called the situation in many parts of his country "dramatic" and said the financial damage was "huge".
Some of K Street’s top-grossing lobbying firms disclosed record-breaking revenue for the first half of 2021, even as the influence industry’s two biggest spenders reported shelling out less than in the same period last year.
The huge Democratic bet on 'bricks and butter'
The spending proposals that Senate Democrats plan to begin advancing this week amount to a massive gamble that the party can simultaneously advance two of its longest-standing economic goals without generating a political backlash or overheating the economy. © Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images President Joe Biden speaks with Heather Zaccagnini, right, Applied Technology Department co-chair, and college president Dr. Clint Gabbard during a tour of a manufacturing lab at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Illinois, on July 7, 2021, part of a trip to tout his infrastructure proposals.
Democratic control of Congress and the executive branch, major federal spending that includes a limited return of lawmaker-directed earmarks, as well as proposals for sweeping legislation to fund infrastructure projects, child care and other programs helped fuel an uptick in interest from clients, lobbyists said. The possible tax increases to help pay for such proposals also has corporate interests on defense.
Merkel shocked by 'surreal' floods devastation
The chancellor vowed to fast-track aid after visiting some of the worst-hit areas in western Germany.Mrs Merkel visited affected areas of western Germany on Sunday, talking to survivors and emergency workers.
K Street lobbyists said new legislation and regulations, in such areas as cybersecurity and cryptocurrency, also had clients clamoring for insight and sway in Washington.
“There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of activity and a lot of action, and with that brings a lot of interest from people who need to know what’s happening in D.C.,” said lobbyist Jeff Forbes, who runs the firm Forbes Tate. Sectors such as financial technology and any industries concerned about becoming “pay-fors” in spending and infrastructure legislation have sought lobbying guidance, he added.
Action on multiple fronts
Forbes Tate disclosed an increase in business in the first half of 2021, reporting more than $12.1 million in lobbying revenue, up from $9.3 million in the same period last year.
Weather. Rain, floods and floods: six departments placed in vigilance Orange
© Pixabay a glass covered with drops of rain. Photo Stock Illustration. Stormy showers will strike a large northeast quarter, sometimes provoking floods and floods of rivers. The departments placed on alert are: the Aisne, the Meuse, the Moselle, the Meurthee and Moselle, Vosges and Bas-Rhin. But the vigilance card could evolve accordingly. This Wednesday at noon, Meteo France has placed six orange vigilant departments facing the risks of rain floods and floods.
It’s a trend across some of Washington’s biggest lobbying practices.
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck hauled in more than any other firm, with $26.6 million in lobbying fees, up from $24.4 million in the first six months of 2020. Under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, activity through June 30 had to be filed with House and Senate regulators by Tuesday.
Marc Lampkin, the managing partner of Brownstein’s Washington office, said the new Congress, new administration and debates over taxes, infrastructure and China policy created “a swirl of activity” on K Street.
“It’s like having 10 fronts working all at the same time,” he added. Lampkin expects much of the activity to continue with a new, as well as a forthcoming reconciliation bill.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld was a close second, reporting $26.3 million for the first half, about 4.7 percent more than the $25.1 million during the same period last year.
On The Money: Five questions for Democrats on their $3.5T budget | Retail sales rebound in June despite rising prices
Happy Friday and welcome back to On The Money. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.See something I missed? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.Write to us with tips, suggestions and news: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane and @NJagoda.THE BIG DEAL-Five questions for Democrats on their $3.5T budget: Key Senate Democrats this week reached an agreement on a $3.
The federal government’s pandemic response, a bill aimed at addressing China competitiveness, the infrastructure package and congressional Democrats’ use of a reconciliation process were among the issues driving the increase, said Akin Gump partner Brian Pomper.
“These legislative efforts touch nearly every sector of the economy, from tax to trade to healthcare,” he added in a statement issued by the firm.
‘Fates are being written’
K&L Gates said it posted its best half year to date, with $10 million.
“Responding to a once in a century crises, the Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats continue to embark on one of the most ambitious policy agendas in recent history,” Karishma Page, the co-leader of K&L Gates’ public policy and law practice, said in a statement. “The impact will be far-reaching across the economy and society, possibly for decades to come. Fates are being written.”
BGR Group, another big K Street shop, posted its biggest half year yet, hauling in $16.9 million versus $15.8 million in the same period last year, according to the firm’s Loren Monroe. He attributed it to federal spending, including the, as well as to health care, financial services and telecom policy matters, among others.
Germany defends preparation for floods, considers lessons
BERLIN (AP) — German officials are defending their preparations for flooding in the face of the raging torrents that caught many people by surprise and left over 180 people dead in Western Europe, but they concede that they will need to learn lessons from the disaster. Efforts to find any more victims and clean up the mess left behind by the floods across a swath of western Germany, eastern Belgium and the Netherlands continued on Monday as floodwaters receded.
But Monroe gave much of the credit to the firm’s structure as a bipartisan shop after having been an all-Republican outfit until about a decade ago.
“I give most of the credit to our Democratic colleagues at BGR,” Monroe said, recalling that in 2009, when Democrats controlled Congress and the White House, “we were pretty lean.”
This time, with 11 Democrats on the team, he said, “with the new administration, the new Congress and the American Rescue Plan Act, the client activity and the new business has been unprecedented.”
No letup expected
Monroe expects the trend to hold through the end of the year, as lawmakers look at potential corporate and capital gains tax increases, among other matters.
Earmarks, too, even in their new limited form, are likely to drive interest in the lobbying sector.
“There are cities, states, universities and hospitals that haven’t pursued earmarks for years,” Monroe noted. “I think a lot of people took a wait-and-see approach and didn’t know quite how real it was, but I think the process playing out like it is — community projects are here to stay, and it’s a real opportunity, and it’s a bipartisan opportunity.”
Lobbyist John Scofield, a former House appropriations aide and founder of the S-3 Group, said his former committee has long had an outsize role, even in the absence of earmarks.
Senate braces for a nasty debt ceiling fight
Republicans are digging in on the federal debt limit, warning Democrats that it will be up to them to avoid a default as President Biden pushes for trillions more in spending.GOP senators are taking a firm line as Democrats plot a path for their $3.5 trillion spending measure, which the party plans to pass with budget reconciliation rules that will prevent the GOP from blocking it with a filibuster.Given those plans, GOP senators say they won't lift a finger to help Democrats raise the debt ceiling."I'm not sure why there's much of an incentive right now given what the Democrats are doing, trying to run roughshod over the minority in the Senate, to help them," said Sen.
“It is a limited amount, so there’s nowhere near the level that was done previously,” he said. “But it’s good for business.”
Some of the biggest-spending companies and groups — such as Amazon, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the American Medical Association and defense contractor Raytheon — disclosed increases in their federal lobbying outlays, according to LDA reports.
Drop for Chamber, Realtors
But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Realtors reported spending less in the first half of this year than in the first half of 2020. Both groups have previously included election-related activities in their lobbying reports, so it may be a reflection of such spending last year.
A chamber spokesperson said the group had no comment beyond its public lobbying disclosure filings.
Charlie Oppler, president of the Realtors association, said in a statement that the group was using “conversations on Capitol Hill and throughout the administration” to pursue “policies designed to increase the nationwide inventory of safe, affordable housing; support America’s housing providers and their critical role in the market; and further the progress toward a more diverse and economically inclusive real estate sector.”
Rich Gold, who runs the lobbying practice at Holland & Knight, said the firm’s lobbying revenue in the second quarter of the year, nearly $8.5 million, was its biggest in a quarter to date.
“We have probably another dozen clients that have come in that we haven’t billed yet that will show up in Q3,” he said.
Gold said the biggest drivers of that business were infrastructure and tax proposals, as well as rule-makings in the executive branch.
The year, so far, he said, “has exceeded what I would have guessed beforehand.”
The postappeared first on .
On The Money: Inflation spike puts Biden on defensive | Senate Democrats hit spending speed bumps | Larry Summers huddles with WH team .
Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money, which is about 5.4 percent longer than normal today. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.See something I missed? Let me know at email@example.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.Write us with tips, suggestions and news: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane and @NJagoda.