The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform is spending slightly more to lobby the federal government these days, according to a disclosure report filed today.
The business-backed group spent $6.03 million on in-house federal lobbying during the first three months of this year, compared to $5.64 million during the same period last year. The rise occurred as the group lobbied on a wide array of issues, including proposed amendments to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, product liability legislation and a proposal for mandatory sanctions against lawyers who file frivolous claims.
In addition, the Institute spent at least $330,000 for outside lobbying help from nine firms, including Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. First-quarter disclosure forms are due today, so that amount could rise. A year ago, the institute farmed out $457,000 worth of lobbying work.
Several blocks away, the rival American Association for Justice, which represents plaintiffs’ lawyers, reported a decrease in in-house lobbying spending. It spent $850,000 during the first quarter, down from $1.05 million a year ago. The reason for the decrease isn’t clear from the group’s report, though with Republicans in charge of the U.S. House, the association has fewer chances to push through its legislative priorities.
The trial lawyers spent at least $190,000 this quarter on three outside lobbying firms. Most of that went to longtime ally Patton Boggs. A year ago, after all reports were in, the association reported spending $370,000 on six outside firms.
The Institute for Legal Reform did not respond to a request for comment. The American Association for Justice had no comment.