Drain the swamp? Lobbyists are filling it up

President Donald Trump promised to drain the swamp. Instead, it’s filling up.

For the first time since 2007, the number of registered lobbyists along with federal lobbying expenditures went up, reversing annual declines in both registrations and spending that began a decade ago.

In all, $3.34 billion was spent on federal lobbying last year, up 6 percent from $3.15 billion a year ago. The increase comes after lobbying expenditures had declined five of the past six years — spending rose less than 1 percent the other year… Read More

by Geoff West

Campaign funding from Health Insurance and Pharma blocks hopes for Single-Payer enthusiasts

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont hosted a town hall recently to discuss the Medicare for All Act, during which he emphasized a conflict of interest around involving the private sector in healthcare.

“Right now, we have a healthcare system that is not designed to provide quality care to all people in a cost effective way,” Sanders said. “Let us be frank, we have a healthcare system designed to make enormous profits for insurance companies and drug companies. And disease prevention is not very high on their lists.”…Read More by Josh Finkelstein

 

Trump’s state in the eye of the Union

We expected the phrase “America First.” The name Gorsuch. And multiple uses of the word “great.”

In the days before President Trump’s first State of Union all we could do was guess what achievements he would highlight and what goals he would line out for 2018.

Reports had suggested Trump’s speech would center on four topics: the economy, immigration, infrastructure, trade and defense. And he delievered

Here’s our primer on what we expected Tuesdaynight… Read More  by Geoff West

O’Rourke’s no-PAC campaign paying off against Cruz

After voting against the 2014 Farm Bill, El Paso Democrat Beto O’Rourke was asked to apologize. Not to the voters, but to a political action committee (PAC) that donated to his campaign.


“At that moment, I just said ‘You know what, I don’t want to take PAC money anymore,”  O’Rourke said. “This is crazy.”
Now, as Rep. O’Rourke campaigns to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) in the upcoming midterm election, his pledge to not “take a dime from PACs or special interest groups” may have paid off.The Center for Responsive Politics requested quarter four fundraising information from both campaigns ahead of Federal Election Commission’s deadline. Information provided shows that O’Rourke outraised Cruz and did so largely through smaller, individual contributions…. Read More by Megan Janetsky