General Motors is back.
The auto giant terminated lobbying contracts with more than 13 shops in the second quarter, saying it was cutting outside lobbying in the wake of a federal bailout, though it maintained a robust in-house operation. The National Law Journal wrote about cutbacks in auto industry lobbying in July. Read that story here. The company spent more than $7 million during the first three quarters of 2009 on lobbying, compared to $13 million in all of 2008.
Now, GM is hiring again. This week, lobbying firm GrayLoeffler registered to lobby on GM's behalf. The GrayLoeffler team includes both firm co-chairmen, former Rep. William Gray (D-Pa.) and former Rep. Tom Loeffler (R-Texas).
The Duberstein Group and Greenberg Traurig, both of which had previously represented General Motors before last summer's wave of terminations, posted registrations late last month, lobbying disclosure reports show.
GM spokesman Greg Martin said the company has "gone through the restructuring and bankruptcy and now it’s back to business..,as we have in the past, we will, from time to time retain outside counsel and expertise to help us through a myriad of complex policy issues. "
Martin said the company won't rule out hiring additional lobbyists. All three firms have registered to lobby on issues related to the automotive industry. Currently, Martin said, the lobbyists are helping the company with trade issues concerning China.