The US Chamber of Commerce reported that it spent a mind-boggling $34.7 million lobbying Congress in the third quarter of 2009 -- far surpassing the $10 million it spent in the first quarter and the $7.4 million spent in the second.
The National Journal reports that the Chamber's aggressive lobbying efforts have placed it firmly in opposition to the Obama administration's first-year priorities. The business association earned the top spot on the Journal's "Top Health Care Players" list for the first half of the year and has stirred up controversy amongst its own membership due to its strict stance against climate change legislation.
Politico reports that the Chamber's numbers are greater than the sum of the next 18 highest filers so far, including the Chamber's separate Institute for Legal Reform, which combined to spend $30.9 million.
"Clearly, it's because the Congress has been dealing with the most important issues facing our nation," said Tita Freeman, vice president of communications for the Chamber, adding that to the extent that there are job creation and economic development issues on the table, "we are front and center on them, as we always have been."
Breaking down the numbers, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Chamber spent the equivalent of $300,000 a day lobbying during the last three months. These latest lobbying figures are 68 percent higher than the organization's previous lobbying record of $20.6 million spent during the same period last year.