10 March 2010

Bailed Out Firms Crank Up Lobbying Efforts

Here's a nice little vicious cycle: tax money bails out firms, bailed out firms then hire lobbyists, lobbyists push for more bailouts, tax money bails out firms, and so on ...

Doesn't seem to be any place for tax payers in that closed loop, does there?

The Hill: Bailed-out firms start rebuilding on K St.

Big banks and automakers bailed out by the government are now on a K Street shopping spree.

Over the past few months, the biggest beneficiaries of the $700 billion financial bailout have hired a slew of blue-chip lobbyists to boost their presence in Washington.

Congressional lawmakers and consumer advocacy organizations pressured companies to stop lobbying when they took bailout money. But as the companies regain their health, with some banks soaring in the process, they are heavily lobbying the administration and Capitol Hill.

General Motors, which went to Washington in late 2008 in need of emergency aid and then passed through bankruptcy in 2009, has hired three outside lobbying firms already in 2010.

Banks that received tens of billions of dollars from the bailout program have also been hiring a wide range of lobbyists in the last few months.

Their efforts come as House and Senate lawmakers consider sweeping new regulations intended to prevent the need for future taxpayer-funded bailouts.

Senators now are working through the thorniest aspects of the bill after the House passed its overhaul legislation in December on a party-line vote.

Goldman Sachs hired the Harold Ford Group in December and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in January to work on financial reform legislation, according to congressional records.

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