What is lobbying?
Lobbying is basically influencing the decision of the House for or against a legislation. It involves using influential relationships with political leaders and organizations and using their powers to approve, disapprove or veto a decision regarding a legislation.
Who is a lobbyist?
In simple words, a lobbyist is an advocate or an individual with significant expertise in legal matters. He or she is hired by business organizations, economic groups or other stakeholders to influence legislative decisions favouring or against a proposed bill.
A lobbyist displays the following characteristics:
- Knows how the Federal Government works like the back of their hand
- Are adept in forging relationships with those of power with influential positions
- Are capable of convincing key personnel with the pros and cons of a legislative decisions
Why do businesses need lobbyists?
Businesses need lobbyists for a variety of reasons. The prime reason is usually to ensure that the legislation always works in their favour. A lobbyist firm can take proactive action that will stall the introduction of a legislation that can upset the business interests of a business or an industry as a whole.
Lobbying helps business avoid legislations that can increase their tax liabilities. It helps in dealing with governmental policies that can hurt investor sentiments and can cause serious damage to the profitability of the business and the industry as a whole. Moreover, businesses can increase their market value with effective use of lobbying.
Industries that rely on lobbying
The top businesses that rely on lobbying for their business processes include oil and has, health, insurance, technology, power, finance, etc. Each industry usually has its own lobbyist firm with specific preset skillsets.
Is lobbying regulated?
Yes, very much. In fact, each of the States of United States has a separate jurisdiction and laws applicable to regulate lobbying. The Federal Government has also introduced the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 to regulate lobbying from grassroots level.
Does lobbying require legal registration?
Yes. A professional lobbyist must apply to the Federal Government by submitting applications forms to the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House within 45 days’ expiry from being part of the lobbying group.
Lobbying is an essential professional practice that helps businesses create a solid grounding in the Capitol. It ensures that their voice is heard in the Capitol in a silent yet disruptive manner.