Lobbying groups are associations that try to impact legislation made by governments. People with common interests form interest groups to influence public policy. Interest groups determine the bill, while the lobbyist ensures that the lawmakers pass the legislation. These two groups play a critical role in creating and passing bills in Congress, hence the need for regulation. This essay aims to discuss the laws of lobbying and interest groups, the goals of these mandates, the effectiveness of the rules, and possible alterations in the rules.
Laws regulate lobbying and interest groups. The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 forbids communication among lobbyists and Congressional members who were spouses to Congressional members (Neritina, 2019). Secondly, Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13490 barred the Executive branch’s nominees from formulating contracts related to their former employers for two years and receiving gifts from lobbyists (Neritina, 2019). The goals of the rules are to curb accusations that lobbyists buy the votes and favors from the lawmakers; hence they indirectly influence the passing of bills in Congress. In addition, the laws promote transparency through the Lobbying Disclosure Act allows the government access to lobbying budgets and informs the public about the sponsors of candidates, thus preventing candidates from accepting money from controversial donors (Cao et al., 2018).
I believe it mandates that control lobbying groups have not achieved their objective. For example, Lobbyists have complete control over the information that Congressional members receive; hence they can provide them with biased information creating opportunities for misinformation (Cao et al., 2018). In addition, lobbyists influence all three arms of the government as they influence the appointment and election of government officials to the three branches of the government, enabling the influence of outsiders in the government. If I could alter Lobbying and interest groups’ directives, I would completely ban officials from lobbying their colleagues after leaving a government office, hence denying them government connections that they could use for lobbying. I would also increase the fine for violating the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act from $200,000 to $450,000, thus reducing gifting between lobbyists and lawmakers.
Cao, Z., Fernando, G. D., Tripathy, A., & Upadhyay, A. (2018). The economics of corporate lobbying. Journal of Corporate Finance, 49, 54-80.
Neretina, E. (2019). Lobbying externalities and competition. Available at SSRN 3297712.