Two of the biggest spenders on lobbying, the health care and defense industries, might end up working against each other in a furious four-month campaign focused on the deficit reduction committee-to-be.
The tension between the two heavy hitters centers on the provision of the debt ceiling agreement that triggers $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts split evenly between defense and nondefense spending if a joint Congressional committee fails to produce its own plan for at least $1.2 trillion in savings by Thanksgiving. For some sectors of the health care industry, especially those that involve Medicare, that "trigger" could be the lesser evil. As a result, those interests might want the committee to fail to reach an agreement.
Health industry lobbyists are saying the 2 percent across the board cuts would be less painful to their corporate masters, than targeted cuts. But, the Defense industry lobbyists want to avoid the trigger no matter what.
"The 50 percent cut as a trigger would be devastating to the defense community, which means not only a loss of jobs among the major prime contractors but also among the subcontractors they use," said defense lobbyist Michael Herson, who runs American Defense International.
Lobbyists have already nicknamed the Super Congress as the "Dirty Dozen", Politico reports.
“The 12 Members of the Super Committee are going to be lobbied so hard in the next four months, they will be known as the ‘Dirty Dozen,’” Republican lobbyist Alex Vogel of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti wrote in an email...
Tax lawyers and lobbyists are expecting to reap the most benefit as corporations look to defend their tax treatment and others try to get provisions included since this could be one of the only legislative vehicles to move before the end of the year.
K Street will be particularly busy if the committee gets into tax expenditures. Not only would industries like the oil and gas industry be on the defensive, but it could also affect other industries as well.
“Everyone who cares about federal spending, or taxes, also known as the western world, will be working very hard to influence this process,” Vogel said. “If you can find an industry or business that doesn’t they care this, please introduce me – they need a lobbyist.”
Jobs for K-Street! That's one helluva pivot!
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