Disclosing lobby money going too far?

U.S. House of Representatives

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: A new law passed by Congress this summer is shaking up the lobbying business. It requires disclosure of the companies and groups that give more than $5,000 per quarter to lobbying efforts.

Some big organizations in D.C. are worried about the effects this will have on their members, and they're asking Congress for help. Jeremy Hobson reports.


Jeremy Hobson: Ever since the Jack Abramoff scandal, Congress has been looking for a way to close a loophole that allows front groups to lobby and keep donors names secret.

Craig Holman, with the group Public Citizen, helped push through the bill at issue here.

Craig Holman: The public has long decided that it has a right to know who's trying to influence Congress. And Congress has agreed with the public, saying that Congress has a right to know who is footing the bill.

But some big-name trade groups say the new rules go too far.

Quentin Riegel is with the National Association of Manufacturers, which wrote a letter to Congress protesting the changes:

Quentin Riegel: We have over 10,000 member companies. Many of them give more than $5,000 in dues, and that money is used in part for lobbying. So there could be thousands of companies affected by this.

Riegel says if Congress doesn't clarify the rules and narrow their reach, a lawsuit could be on the way.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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