Former Sens. John Breaux (D-La.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) of the Patton Boggs affiliate The Breaux Lott Leadership Group are advocating for Visa U.S.A. Inc., according to a lobbying registration filing submitted to Congress this week.
The former senators, senior counsels at Breaux, are part of a team of firm lobbyists who are advocating on behalf of Visa on "[c]orporate tax issues," the paperwork shows. Patton partner Matthew Cutts and associate Erin McGrain, as well as Breaux senior public policy adviser Emanuel Rossman, also are handling the account.
Neither the lobbyists nor a Visa spokeswoman could be reached immediately for comment.
The registration filing came this week as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told members of Congress that the Barack Obama administration is close to releasing a comprehensive corporate tax reform proposal. The plan would make changes to the U.S. tax code that include a decrease in the corporate tax rate of 35% and restrictions on the ability of companies to move profits to low-tax jurisdictions, he said.
Visa spent $6.88 million on federal lobbying last year, according to congressional records. Company officials and lobbyists from more than a dozen firms in 2011 advocated for the San Francisco-based debit- and credit-card company on issues that included privacy and cyber security bills.
The firms include Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and Williams & Jensen. For their advocacy efforts on behalf of Visa last year, Nelson received $140,000 before it stopped lobbying for the company in September and Williams collected $350,000 – the highest sum Visa gave firms for lobbying in 2011.