Are Lobbyists and The Public Interested In The Same Bills?

Each week THOMAS, Library of Congress’s website that publishes federal legislation, releases a top ten list of the most searched bills of the week.   What is interesting about this list is the majority of the top ten include some of the most lobbied bills of all time.  In contrast and somewhat surprisingly some of the other bills on the list have barely any lobbying activity.  The list shows that while the majority of the time the interests of the lobbying community and the public are one and the same their are times of differences.  Outliers such as the 5th and 6th ranked bills from THOMAS’s list, pulled on April 7, 2012, attracted very little interest from the lobby world but had strong interest from the public.  In the end, nothing that gains the interest of the public goes unnoticed by K Street.  Here is a rundown of the top ten bills searched on THOMAS from April 7, 2012 compared to their total lobbying activity.

Bill THOMAS Rank Number of Lobbyists Lobbying the Bill Number of Organizations Lobbying the Bill
112 H.R.3606: Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act 1 92 21
112 H.R.3261: Stop Online Piracy Act 2 662 205
112 H.R.3523: Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 3 270 82
111 H.R.3590: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 4 3337 1112
109 S.786: National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005 5 25 5
111 H.R.4646: Debt Free America Act 6 12 2
111 H.R.3200: America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 7 3036 964
112 H.R.3630: Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 8 1276 400
112 S.1813: MAP-21 9 316 128
107 H.R.3162: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001 10 326 128

List of Top Ten Bills in Order

1.   112 H.R. 3606: Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act  (JOBS Act)

Purpose: To increase American job creation and economic growth by improving access to the public capital markets for emerging growth companies.

  • Sponsor(s): Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN)
  • Co-Sponsor(s): 53 (20D, 33R, 0I)

Those who lobbied this  bill included:

  • 92 lobbyists
  • 21 organizations


 2.       112 H.R.3261: Stop Online Piracy Act

Purpose: To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.

  • Sponsor(s): Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)
  • Co-Sponsor(s): 31 (16D, 15R, 0I)

Those who lobbied this bill included:

  • 662 lobbyists
  • 205 organizations


3.       112 H.R.3523: Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011

Purpose: To provide for the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity entities, and for other purposes.

  • Sponsor(s): Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI)
  • Co-Sponsor(s): 106 (25D, 81R, 0I)

Those who lobbied this bill included:

  • 270 lobbyists
  • 82 organizations


4.       111 H.R.3590: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Purpose: An act entitled The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

  • Sponsor(s): Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)
  • Co-Sponsor(s): 40 (37D, 3R, 0I)

Those who lobbied this bill included:

  • 3,337 lobbyists
  • 1,112 organizations

 
5.       109 S.786: National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005

Purpose: A bill to clarify the duties and responsibilities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service, and for other purposes.

  • Sponsor(s): Rick Santorum
  • No co-sponsors

Those who lobbied this bill included:

  • 25 lobbyists
  • 5 organizations

 
6.       111 H.R.4646: Debt Free America Act

Purpose: To establish a fee on transactions which would eliminate the national debt and replace the income tax on individuals.

  • Sponsor(s): Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
  • No co-sponsors

Those who lobbied this bill included:

  • 12 lobbyists
  • 2 organizations


7.       111 H.R.3200: America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

Purpose: To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes

  • Sponsor(s): Rep. John D. Dingell (D-MI)
  • Co-Sponsor(s): 9 (9D, 0R, 0I)

Those who lobbied this bill included:

  • 3,036 lobbyists
  • 964 organizations


8.       112 H.R.3630: Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012

Purpose: A bill to extend the payroll tax holiday, unemployment compensation, Medicare physician payment, provide for the consideration of the Keystone XL pipeline, and for other purposes.

  • Sponsor(s): Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI)
  • Co-Sponsor(s): 5 (0D, 5R, 0I)

Those who lobbied this bill included:

  • 1,276 lobbyists
  • 400 organizations


9.       112 S.1813: MAP-21

Purpose: A bill to reauthorize Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes.

  • Sponsor(s): Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
  • Co-Sponsor(s): 3 (1D, 2R, 0I)

Those who lobbied this bill included:

  • 316 lobbyists
  • 128 organizations


10.   107 H.R.3162: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001

Purpose: To deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes.

  • Sponsor(s): Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
  • Co-Sponsor(s): 1 (0D, 1R, 0I)

Those who lobbied this bill included:

  • 326 lobbyists
  • 128 organizations

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