chapter  6
26 Pages

Lobbying Congress, the Most Permeable Branch

ByThomas T. Holyoke

This chapter describes how and why lobbyists form close relationships with a few legislators and how these friends of mutual need give lobbyists access to the lawmaking process. Congressional committees are especially attractive to lobbyists. Most lobbyists only want to influence policy on a small number of issues important to the interests of their members and clients; they do not want to worry about every bill in Congress. Just as citizen petitions in Great Britain and colonial America helped legislators know what constituents' concerns were and what might be done to solve them, the modern lobbyist as professional petitioner brings citizen concerns for remedies to elected members of Congress. If one lobbyist's provision does not appear to threaten other interests, then all is fine and well, but in a world where thousands of groups are lobbying Congress that is unlikely to happen. Congressional lobbying campaigns are often long and complicated.