Lobbying is essential to an unbiased government. Corporate lobbying, however, is a vital factor in inter-government corruption. Since lobbying is such a prevalent influence in our politics, it is essential to be fully educated in its true meaning.
What is Corporate Lobbying?
First, one must look at the definition of lobbying. Lobbying, according to Britannica.com, is “any attempt by individuals or private interest groups to influence the decisions of government; in its original meaning it referred to efforts to influence the votes of legislators, generally in the lobby outside the legislative chamber. Lobbying in some form is inevitable in any political system.”
Therefore, corporate lobbying refers to lobbying funded by and policies created to benefit corporations. Corporations now spend about $2.6 billion a year on reported lobbying expenditures—more than the $2 billion we spend to fund the House ($1.18 billion) and Senate ($860 million). It’s a gap that has been widening since corporate lobbying began to regularly exceed the combined House-Senate budget in the early 2000s.
What Organizations Lobby?
The simplest answer to this question would also show the inspiration for writing this piece in the first place: the NRA. The National Rifle Association has spent an excessive amount of money on lobbying since Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, seen by the doubling average lobbying costs in 2017. “The NRA lobby spent a total of $5.12 million on its efforts in 2017, the highest amount since at least 1990, the last year for which data was available … The gun rights organization has spent more than $48 million on lobbying since 1998, but much more on outside spending, political donations that are independent of candidate’s committees,” Newsweek.con states.
So, while lobbying can be a helpful way of citizens sharing what kinds of bills and laws they want passed by supporting these organizations, at what point is the system simply a complicated way of big businesses (such as the NRA with the funds to lobby) passing bills and laws while smaller lobbying efforts that citizens may support be disregarded because the resources weren’t available without the corporate aspect? In simpler terms, lobbying is of course crucial to a well oiled government. But, because of the money, information, and time that proposed regulations take to be impactful, lobbying organizations that are not funded by big businesses but supported by middle to lower class citizens may go overshadowed by corporations such as the National Rifle Association. Many see the lobbying expenses and outside spending of the NRA as reasoning for the inability and unwillingness of representatives to pass common sense gun laws. Based on your understanding of lobbying, is lobbying by big corporations and business biased governing?