Federal lobbying spending soared to nearly $903 million during the first three months of the year -- approaching record levels, as American businesses scrambled to shape how the Trump administration and Congress respond to the coronavirus outbreak, a preliminary tally shows.
Leading the way: The health care sector, which spent more than $160 million -- or about 18% of the total lobbying bill for all industries -- during the first quarter, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in politics. The finance, insurance and real-estate sector was No. 2 at $136 million, the center found.
The lobbying surge "relates to every industry and company in the country fighting for their lives and Washington turning on the spigot with almost unlimited money," said Dan Auble, a senior researcher at the center. "Everyone is getting in on this lobbying boom."