The American League of Lobbyists on Monday urged President Barack Obama to work with it to eliminate lobbying registration loopholes that the group says he has encouraged through his policies.
Individuals who spend less than 20 percent of their time lobbying currently do not have to register with Congress as lobbyists. ALL President Howard Marlowe wrote in a letter to Obama that the president's efforts to restrict government advocacy have encouraged "many" lobbyists to claim that they do not meet the lobbying threshold, allowing their activities to go unreported.
The Washington-based trade group has worked for the past 14 months on recommendations that would “increase the amount of transparency and accountability of the lobbying profession,” Marlowe wrote. The government must implement policies that “ensure that those who are paid to engage in federal lobbying activities are registered, have a solid understanding of the registration and campaign finance laws, and how to comply with them,” he added.
“We’re real serious about it,” Marlowe said in a phone interview.
Marlowe declined to discuss the specifics of ALL’s recommendations, saying the group will release its finalized proposals next month.
ALL has been a frequent critic of Obama’s policies related to lobbyists. The group has taken issue with a number of Obama administration decisions, including his directives to keep lobbyists off of federal advisory committees and limit contacts they can make with executive branch officials.