The Center for Responsive Politics has crunched the numbers for the first quarter of 2010 and found that lobbying spending in DC last quarter was $903 million.
Putting that in perspective: The fourth quarter of 2009 was even higher — $970 million. Last year’s first quarter was 11% lower, but that included a bit of a late start because of the whole inauguration. However, this year’s first quarter included a lot of quiet days because of Snowpocalypse I & II.
More interesting to me than the total numbers is CRP’s look at the health-care lobbying, the most active sector:
|Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers
of America (PhRMA)
|American Medical Association||$6,360,000|
|American Hospital Association||$4,115,000|
|Merck & Co.||$3,220,000|
|Blue Cross/Blue Shield||$2,780,000|
|Eli Lilly & Co.||$2,290,000|
You might notice that the top six entities all sided with Obama in supporting the legislation, as did nine of the top ten. That makes it hard to swallow Obama’s claim that passing the legislation represented “standing up to the special interests.”