One of the consistent elements of the last few years is the consistency and frequency with which Republican policymakers turn to lobbyists – for everything.
When Congress worked on a jobs bill in 2010, John Boehner and his team huddled with corporate lobbyists. When work on Wall Street reform got underway, Boehner and the GOP huddled with industry lobbyists. When Congress worked on health care reform, Boehner and the GOP huddled with insurance lobbyists. When an energy/climate bill started advancing, the GOP huddled with energy lobbyists. In February, when the STOCK Act was being considered, the GOP huddled with financial industry lobbyists.
This summer, Republican officials are working on their party platform to be unveiled at their national convention. Care to guess who has their ear?
Recent sessions held at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., have covered financial regulation, defense, foreign policy and energy, among other topics.
Most of the attendees remain tight-lipped about the meetings…. But high-profile K Streeters who have attended include Candida Wolff, Citigroup’s executive vice president for global government affairs, who was the chief Congressional liaison for President George W. Bush. A Citi spokeswoman confirmed that Wolff attended a financial services platform meeting but said the lobbyist had no comment.
For those unfamiliar with the D.C. culture, “K Street” is home to many of the Beltway’s powerhouse lobbying firms.
Remember, before the 2010 midterms, when Tea Partiers rallied to boost Republican control of Congress because “the people” were tired of Washington’s existing power structure? Two years later, Citigroup has a role in shaping the Republican platform.
In fairness, it’s worth noting that Roll Call’s report added that outside views are shaping the Democratic platform, too, but a recent drafting committee meeting included representatives of the National Farmers Union, Health Care for America Now, the Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners.
What’s more, the DNC’s list was available upon request. The list of lobbyists working with the RNC remains under wraps.