Here Are The 50 Largest Lobbying Spenders; Good Place To Start "Draining The Swamp?"

Tyler Durden's picture

In part, President Trump won the White House courtesy of the silent majority of people across the country who are completely fed up with the corruption and culture of influence peddling in Washington D.C..  His repeated vows to "Drain the Swamp" were music to the ears of the disaffected masses who have grown increasingly frustrated with the ineptitude of their elected officials over the years.


Therefore, in light of the promises above, we thought it might be useful to take a look at who exactly is spending the most money to "buy influence" among our elected officials.  According to data provided by The Hill, just the top 50 companies and industry groups in the country accounted for nearly 25% of all federal lobbying dollars spent in 2016. 

Fifty companies and industry groups shelled out more than $716 million to lobby the federal government and Congress last year, according to data provided to The Hill by the Center for Responsive Politics.


The eye-popping total represents nearly a quarter of all federal lobbying dollars in 2016 and a slight increase over 2015, when the 50 biggest spenders doled out $715 million.

And here's a look at the top 25 spenders:



As The Hill notes, with companies finding it difficult to "read" the new Trump administration, spending on lobbying efforts by America's largest corporations is unlikely to slow materially in 2017.

Anger at lobbyists and special interests was a focal point of the presidential campaign, most famously expressed in President Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington.


Trump has signed an executive order seeking to slow down the “revolving door” between administration jobs and the private sector, but few expect the deluge of lobbying to slow down under the new administration.


“Everyone across the board believe there’s going to be lots of activity in Washington,” Marc Lampkin, the managing partner of the Washington office at law and lobby firm Brownstein Hyatt -Farber Schreck, told The Hill last month.


“Corporate America has been seeking relief from the overreach of the Obama administration, so there will be activity on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue,” added Lampkin, a former aide to former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

There are variety of reasons that companies seek to "buy influence" in Washington D.C.,  Dow Chemical, for example, seems to like spending their "advocacy" budget to help politicians "better understand" the merits for their massive M&A transactions.

Some of the companies and groups that boosted their lobbying spending last year did so in response to major legislative and regulatory fights.


Dow Chemical, which is seeking to merge with DuPont, boosted its advocacy spending by 26 percent, to $13.6 million.


Other companies that increased their spending included Prudential Financial, which paid lobbyists $9.4 million in 2016, an 18 percent increase over 2015; AbbVie, an industry group for medical device manufacturers, which spent 39 percent more on lobbying; and T-Mobile, which spent $8,089,900, an increase of 32 percent.


Amazon significantly expanded its footprint in Washington last year. The company spent $11.4 million on advocacy, a 20 percent increase.


Some of the increases in advocacy spending were driven by the 2016 election.


The two groups that spent the most, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Realtors, included all political spending in their lobbying reports, which includes things like campaign advertising. Most entities do not report election activities in their total.


The Chamber’s spending totaled close to $104 million, while the Realtors spent almost $65 million.

Of course, if Trump is really serious about "Draining the Swamp" then the only way to truly do that is by imposing term limits to restrict our easily corrupted elected officials from building the influence they are then all too eager to sell to the highest long as there is influence to be purchased you can rest assured their will be plenty of eager buyers.

Finally, here is the full list of the 50 largest lobbying spenders in 2016 that spent over $700 million in aggregate.


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4shzl's picture

Drain the swamp -- LOL -- Trumpkins nuzzling Larry Fink's buttocks and licking Jamie Dimon's boots?

NidStyles's picture

Gotta end corporate personhood...

localsavage's picture

Tylers...Can you please change "advocacy" to "bribes"?  It would be much more intellectually honest.

Lets Buy The Dip's picture

yes, love that LOL

big guys I hear, are buying up BUYING up Bitcoin, In the meantime, this is SHOCKING ==> 

Bitcoin surges on report indicating more and more people are using it to sneak money out of China - Click here to read. 

 Its probably the NWO currency, who knows...but that is another oprah winfrey show. 

Peak Finance's picture

Ending "Corporate Personhood" is a fucking ridicilous leftist idea that was thought-up by some fucking moron that has ZERO IDEA of how a real business operates.

End "Corporate Personhood" and every small business (Yes we are "corporations" actually) will be gone in 30 days. There is NOTHING to protect us from endless frivolous lawsuits and attacks on our personal assets other than the "Corporate Veil"

If you want to end corporate power, you need to end GOVERNMENT power, without exploiting government, corporations are nothing. 


Elco the Constitutionalist's picture
Elco the Constitutionalist (not verified) Peak Finance Feb 7, 2017 9:41 PM

Are you insane, or just stupid? This concept has nothing to do with the left or right.

You may as well argue that arresting people for highway robbery is a fucking ridiculous leftist idea. You want to end highway robbery power, you need to end GOVERNMENT power.

The purpose of government is to eradicate highway robbery.

Corporate personhood allows corporations to literally get away with murder. How do you argue that corporate personhood is in the common interest?

Peak Finance's picture

Corporate personhood DOES NOT allow the corporation to get away witrh murder.

The LACK OF ENFORCEMENT OF EXISTING LAWS is what's letting corporations get away with murder. If any criminal negligence is found, the "corporate veil" is pierced, and the responsible partities can be brought to justice. This is, quite literally, Business Law 101.

The problem is bribes, cheating, and like I said non-enforcement of existing laws. They are "not looking to hard" for evidence of criminal wrongdoing, clearly they are not looking for ANY wrongdoing at all, if you are big enough. 

The reaons I say it's a "leftist" idea is because I only hear the socialist-types spouting this nonsense.


dirty belly's picture

So, I am sitting in a theater full of people,

But there is one seat open to my right.

You come along, same theater, looking for a place to sit.

You see the open seat at my right, and you proceed to occupy the one open seat to my right.

I say, sorry seat is being held for a 'person', and you reply that there is no other 'person' around that is waiting for that seat.

I say, that seat is being held for a 'corporate-person'.

You say, oh-ok, and leave.

TeethVillage88s's picture

Corporations are

- Schools, local govt, State Govt
- NGOs, Foundations, Think Tanks, Lobbyist, International Power Players
- Small Business of one worker
- Small Business, that gets Govt Contracts worth Millions, but only like 3-20 guys, Defense Contractor claiming special status as small business even when making $100s of Millions a year... Govt recognizes special status of small business even if contracts are huge

Fuck it I don't care.

Small Businesses were supposed to be helped by Federal Law... but well... after 911 the contracts went to the big guys in Defense-MIC-Security-Logistics... KBR, Dyncore, whatever.

I don't care. But the System of Systems called the US Federal Govt doesn't really audit itself, there is no one watching the watchers.

boattrash's picture

Elco, Am I insane or just stupid?

The purpose of my Ruger GP 100 is to stop Highway Robbery. The purpose of Govt is to file a report after the fact.


Elco the Constitutionalist's picture
Elco the Constitutionalist (not verified) boattrash Feb 7, 2017 11:02 PM

That makes sense to me. I was not trying to extend my logic beyond the specifics of the argument.

I think I didn't articulate it well enough, if you see a conflict.

boattrash's picture

I'm cool with that, as I guess I'm pretty cynical these days. I believe it stems from 50 years of living, and having never seen Govt fix jack shit...

As to the topic of Corp. as people, I'm against it...It gives them an extra layer of "plausible deniability" and is partly to blame in no banksters doing time over the 2008 fiasco.

Elco the Constitutionalist's picture
Elco the Constitutionalist (not verified) Peak Finance Feb 7, 2017 10:59 PM

The justification for not enforcing laws in a corporate context has been demonstrated (irrefutably) to be exactly because they can be viewed as persons and therefore no individuals may be prosecuted.

Elco the Constitutionalist's picture
Elco the Constitutionalist (not verified) NidStyles Feb 7, 2017 9:38 PM

That needs to be legislated out of existence.

Liberty and corporate personhood are mutually exclusive.

Zorba's idea's picture

how the hell did our SCJ's make a person out of mortar and balance sheets? Not even God would do that. fix this donald for christ sakes!

The central planners's picture

With Trumps goldman sachs team you got be dreaming with pregnant birds.

1980XLS's picture

None of them own Trump.


Fuck all of them.

America first.

The central planners's picture

Trump is a fraud, wake up man!!

Jim in MN's picture

I always thought we should just take a list like this, and simply cut the Federal budget using it for relative shares.  The goal would be to roll back spending to 1980 levels.


How's THAT for drainage?  Whoever was the most corrupt, gets the most cuts.

Jim in MN's picture

Oh and by the way here is my revised, more polite health care proposal.  I seriously think we need this level of action, so take it and run with it Team Trump:

A Competitive ‘Big Bang’ for U.S. Health Care Reform: Joint Operations-Premium Yield (JOPY) Fund

February 2017   Washington D.C.

The 2016 Presidential election has created a unique moment in American politics.  The ground has shifted and the apple carts of both major parties, as well as the national media, have been upset. 

Health care is directly in the new Administration’s sights.  There is immense appetite for change.  If the next reforms fail, systemic collapse or a national single-payer scheme become by far the most likely outcomes.  Facing this extreme strategic risk, it is clear that the President-elect has an opportunity to bring in the executives of the Nation’s health care insurers, major care providers, and pharmaceutical firms.  He can make, and expect to win, very tough demands and come to very big deals with these executives.

The question is—what does he ask for?

Replacing the Affordable Care Act has been an elusive quest for the establishment Republicans.  On the Democratic side, a mix of timid incremental fixes rests uneasily with an urge to socialize the entire health care sector. 

Now is the time for a fresh proposal—one based on the fundamentally American and bipartisan tenets of liberty, free markets, and the quest for innovation.  A proposal that blows by the status quo and the short-sighted strategies of the industry powers that be.  A proposal, most importantly, that can be implemented quickly, offer premium relief to Americans, and create a permanent shift in an industry that makes up 20 percent of the U.S. economy.

The basis of this proposal is twofold: First, that the executives of the industries can and will make major changes under existential threat (indeed, this is the only means to induce such change); and second, that significant cost efficiencies are possible in health care delivery and administration, but have not been incentivized due to the baroque, opaque, and often nonsensical regulatory tangle that both stifles competition and allows profiteering to those who learn to game the system.

What the President-elect should demand is the creation of a $100 billion fund, paid for up front by the industry.  We call this the Joint Operations-Premium Yield fund or JOPY.  This fund would be used to pay the profits for those elements of the industry that demonstrate significant efficiency gains over the following three years.  In other words, profitability would become conditional on meeting performance targets, rather than gaming the system. 

For the first time, corporate boardrooms would be seeking lean and efficient cost structures rather than padding and gold plating (to inflate or hide excess profits).  Insurance companies, hospitals, medical partnerships, and patients would all share a common goal, to meet needs at the lowest cost.   In practice, the key notion is to embed bidding and arbitrage throughout the system.  At least five competitive sources should be sought, or if necessary created, for as many cost points as possible. Foreign providers and procedures should be allowed to compete in open marketplaces.  Rewards, bonuses and other incentives should be developed at many levels to spur innovation and efficiency.

 In this manner, one three-year ‘big bang’ would be the genesis of a culture of competition and, one can hope, excellence in service delivery.  The notion of a ‘big bang’ transition to competition is not unique to this proposal.  The finance and energy sectors in several disparate countries and regions, from the City of London to the Asian financial markets to the European electric power market, have used similar strategies.  This is the possibly unique time and political climate for the U.S. health care sector, and the American public, to seek the benefits of a tested yet radical approach to competition and reform.

But there will be another use of the $100 billion JOPY fund.  Immediate and significant premium relief for Americans can provide the Trump Administration (and bipartisan backers) with their critically needed big win.   It is also fair, and well deserved.  A $100 billion fund would be sufficient to bring $1,000 of premium relief to every American household.  But not all households use private insurance.  So even more would be available to those that do, at least $100 per month, perhaps double that. 

What if the industry succeeds in bringing competitive efficiency to play, but the JOPY fund has been used already for premium relief?  In that event, further sources of funds would be considered, such as a bond securitization.  But if this plan succeeds, so much productive investment and cost-cutting would be unleashed that industry profitability should be greatly enhanced.  Perhaps the JOPY fund is an investment that pays for itself.  The scale and inefficiency of the U.S. health care system today certainly suggests the possibility.

Other reforms are also called for.  Catastrophic care should be paid for directly via a Federal cost reimbursement model, with long term lifestyle and wellness approaches prioritized.  The ‘long tail’ of catastrophic risk needs to be cut off so the vast majority of Americans can have more choices, including the choice of no insurance coverage, in a normally functioning free market.  Incentives can be provided to make self-insuring against catastrophic risk an attractive deal, without forcing its purchase.

Pharmaceutical companies have been parasites on all of us for long enough.  The proposal outlined here is not for them.  The Trump Administration should simply demand an immediate discount sufficient to wipe out the past five years of excess revenue (not ‘profit’ since the drug firms tend to hide excess revenues in their research and development programs, among other games).  The new small-p politics of the big deal make this another immediate win that can, along with significant premium relief from the JOPY fund, turn a true guns and butter issue into a turning point in American political economy.

We offer this proposal for the use of all participants in the health care debate.  For an idea like this to succeed, industry participation is vital.  Congress and the Administration must work with the executive leadership of the health care industry—encompassing providers as well as insurers—to develop the JOPY funding mechanism, establish valid competitive performance metrics, and target interim premium relief.  States may need to participate, or under certain circumstances be asked to stand aside.  Profitability limits may need to be superseded as the transition takes place.  Structural change to allow or ensure depth of bidding markets for specific goods and services will be critical for long-term success.

Reform that delivers the power of competitive arbitrage in the service of greater efficiency is, simply, no longer an option in the U.S. health care system.  It is ‘do or die’.  By using the JOPY fund and the concepts already in practice in other economic sectors, we believe the time is ripe to ‘do’. 


--Publius Plorabilis

Elco the Constitutionalist's picture
Elco the Constitutionalist (not verified) Jim in MN Feb 7, 2017 9:44 PM

The goal should be to roll back spending to 1880 levels.

The federal government has no business being so large in a REPUBLIC.

ebworthen's picture

If those corporations/banks/insurers don't get drained the U.S. will experience the French Revolution "Drain the Swamp" experience!

Let's do it legal like, with an elected President and Government, shall we?

The alternative is so bloody...but if the guillotines must roll...they will!

Boiling point, not just another political charade or detour.

When the bread is short heads will roll.

Always has been, always will be.

Bread is short m'fuckers.

Pay attention!

billwilson2's picture

Where are the banks?

That's right they do not need to lobby. They have people on the inside of Goldman's tRump.

Jim in MN's picture

Trump is setting aside banking and finance....for now.   Probably a year or two.

After some success on the guns and butter issues of border security, health care, and trade/manufacturing....he'll be unstoppable.

THEN comes the banks.

TeethVillage88s's picture

Well where is GE they got a bail out.

1. Time Warner Inc.
2. Walt Disney Company
3. Viacom Inc.
4. News Corporation
5. CBS Corporation
6. Cox Enterprises
7. NBC Universal
8. Gannett Company, Inc.
9. Clear Channel Communications Inc.
10. Advance Publications, Inc.
11. Tribune Company
12. McGraw-Hill Companies
13. Hearst Corporation
14. Washington Post Company
15. The New York Times Company
16. E.W. Scripps Co.
17. McClatchy Company
18. Thomson Corporation
19. Freedom Communications, Inc.
20. A&E Television Networks (Most loans based on Corporate Paper making them a special category, 2007 - 2010 Program)

USA heavy Corporate Welfare/Corporate Socialism Nation

- 1979 Chrysler bailout, Iacocca approached the United States Congress in 1979, Chrysler was required to reduce costs

- 2009 Chrysler bankruptcy, Because of the Chrysler bankruptcy, Iacocca may lose part of his pension from a supplemental executive retirement plan

- 2008 BMW Auto Bailout, CPFF
- 2008 Caterpillar Inc Bailout, CPFF
- 2008 Chrysler Financial Bailout, CPFF
- 2008 Ford Auto Bailout, CPFF
- 2008 General Electric Bailout, CPFF
- 2008 Genworth Financial Insurance, CPFF
- 2009 GM bankruptcy & Bailout
- 2008 Harley Davidson Bailout, CPFF
- 2008 Hartford Financial Insurance, CPFF
- 2008 McDonalds Bailout, CPFF
- 2008 METLIFE Bailout, CPFF
- 2008 PACCAR Bailout, CPFF
- 2008 Verizon Bailout, CPFF
- 2009 Toyota Bailout, CPFF

scv's picture

tax dodging enemy traitors with stock buyback scams at full max, these are indebt/ liquid

SmittyinLA's picture

Amazing how all those private corporate lobby entities are beards for the state

 US Chamber and NAR, those are both creatures of FNM fraud propped up by the state, your congressman is lobbying himself with your bailout money

Most of the rest are propped by by the state too, AMZN and Google are directly financed by the state tp spy on their customers

The medical crowd that's Obamacare another state creature

ditto drug companies  

NoWayJose's picture

Kind of reads like a list of those organizations that have gotten richer via policies that hurt the middle class!

Lonesome Crow's picture

Remove the laws of confiscation and the ability to take and fake money out of the offices and many evils evaporate.

Falconsixone's picture

Probably some of the same names suing Trump for temp immafucks ban.



  1. AdRoll, Inc.
  2. Aeris Communications, Inc.
  3. Airbnb, Inc.
  4. AltSchool, PBC
  5., LLC
  6. Appboy, Inc.
  7. Apple Inc.
  8. AppNexus Inc.
  9. Asana, Inc.
  10. Atlassian Corp Plc
  11. Autodesk, Inc.
  12. Automattic Inc.
  13. Box, Inc.
  14. Brightcove Inc.
  15. Brit + Co
  16. CareZone Inc.
  17. Castlight Health
  18. Checkr, Inc.
  19. Chobani, LLC
  20. Citrix Systems, Inc.
  21. Cloudera, Inc.
  22. Cloudflare, Inc.
  23. Copia Institute
  24. DocuSign, Inc.
  25. DoorDash, Inc.
  26. Dropbox, Inc.
  27. Dynatrace LLC
  28. eBay Inc.
  29. Engine Advocacy
  30. Etsy Inc.
  31. Facebook, Inc.
  32. Fastly, Inc.
  33. Flipboard, Inc.
  34. Foursquare Labs, Inc.
  35. Fuze, Inc.
  36. General Assembly
  37. GitHub
  38. Glassdoor, Inc.
  39. Google Inc.
  40. GoPro, Inc.
  41. Harmonic Inc.
  42. Hipmunk, Inc.
  43. Indiegogo, Inc.
  44. Intel Corporation
  45. JAND, Inc. d/b/a Warby Parker
  46. Kargo Global, Inc.
  47. Kickstarter, PBC
  48. KIND, LLC
  49. Knotel
  50. Levi Strauss & Co.
  51. LinkedIn Corporation
  52. Lithium Technologies, Inc.
  53. Lyft, Inc.
  54. Mapbox, Inc.
  55. Maplebear Inc. d/b/a Instacart
  56. Marin Software Incorporated
  57. Medallia, Inc.
  58. A Medium Corporation
  59. Meetup, Inc.
  60. Microsoft Corporation
  61. Motivate International Inc.
  62. Mozilla Corporation
  63. Netflix, Inc.
  64. NETGEAR, Inc.
  65. NewsCred, Inc.
  66. Patreon, Inc.
  67. PayPal Holdings, Inc.
  68. Pinterest, Inc.
  69. Quora, Inc.
  70. Reddit, Inc.
  71. Rocket Fuel Inc.
  72. SaaStr Inc.
  73., Inc.
  74. Scopely, Inc.
  75. Shutterstock, Inc.
  76. Snap Inc.
  77. Spokeo, Inc.
  78. Spotify USA Inc.
  79. Square, Inc.
  80. Squarespace, Inc.
  81. Strava, Inc.
  82. Stripe, Inc.
  83. SurveyMonkey Inc.
  84. TaskRabbit, Inc
  85. Tech:NYC
  86. Thumbtack, Inc.
  87. Turn Inc.
  88. Twilio Inc.
  89. Twitter Inc.
  90. Turn Inc.
  91. Uber Technologies, Inc.
  92. Via
  93. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
  94. Workday
  95. Y Combinator Management, LLC
  96. Yelp Inc.
  97. Zynga Inc.
TeethVillage88s's picture

Zerohedge, ZH, Excellent. Here is the list of 97!

I wanted this yesterday to go with your article.

Great Work.

Elco the Constitutionalist's picture
Elco the Constitutionalist (not verified) Feb 7, 2017 9:35 PM

The only way to ensure liberty and end this shit at the same time is term limits.

Lonesome Crow's picture

It is a good start but the first cause is the ability of making wealth out of the offices. This is the source of perverted government.

Therefore, the best aim is to make merit of more account than wealth with regards to the structural machinations of being involved with any offices of state.

TeethVillage88s's picture


1) Term limits for Congress
2) Federal Hiring Freeze
3) Each new reg, 2 must be deleted
4) 5 year lobbying ban for Whitehouse officials, Congress
5) Lifetime ban on Whitehouse officials Lobbying for Foreign Officials
6) Ban on foreign lobbyist raising money for American Elections
7) Get valid accurate data on economy, jobs, wealth, debt, banks, MIC, federal agency budgets, foreign enemy capabilities
8) Clean Out DC & Wall Street Corruption & Interest Group Corruption (TRO on McCain-Fiengold Act)

Lonesome Crow's picture

3 is best and since it is third must delete 3 regs instead of 2!

4 should be a lifetime ban as well. The only lobbying is to be done by the people on election days...

TeethVillage88s's picture

I am for Exile of Interest Group Leaders.

I am for Exile and Stripping of ill gotten gains of FIREs CEOs, COOs, CFOs, and Presidents... Jon Corzine should be Exiled. Bernie Maddoff should be exiled.

These kinds of people need to be

- stripped of careers in FIREs,
- Banned trading equities and bonds in the USA,
- Banned on going into politics,
- Banned on going into Law Practice
- Banned on many various kinds of financial or marketing of financial or FIREs schemes

Rabbi Chaim Cohen's picture

All Federal reps 4 years, one term, then buh-bye...

Falconsixone's picture

Remind me to be a Congyesman when I get sleezy and perverted. 

Dilluminati's picture

Wonder why our internet cost is so high?

Wonder why our internet quality is so low?

You see that Comcast spends all their money on that list at #12 and they give it all to Democrats who come up with schemes to tax Republicans and pay for poor peoples Fake TV and internet.

Get a free school lunch? Well don't stop there!  Get free Comcast as well!

How Comcast Bought the Democratic Party

Read more at:

Here they are breaking the law!

Houses Depreciate's picture

Look who is number 2.


End the crime please.

Lonesome Crow's picture

There is a lotta Ass. at the top of that list.

swampmanlives's picture

Goldman Sachs doesn't need to pay because they had direct access to Hillary and they have their tentacles in Trump too since his cabinet is filled with Goldman alumni.

Manipuflation's picture

Are we going to inspect for gold at Fort Knox or not? I will meet you all in Kentucky.

RichardParker's picture

Boeing spent about 39 million in 2015 and 16 on lobbying

Now they stand to gain $56.7 billion in tax breaks;

Not too shabby...

onmail1's picture

HAh ha these bastards have lost so much money


Hey Rich , u lost
Now cry
ur days r numbered

moonmac's picture

If government wasn't involved with every aspect of our lives corporate lobbyists wouldn't have a reason to bribe politicians with billions in cash. Enforcing morality is Big Business for our corrupt anti-freedom nation.  

spanish inquisition's picture

Lobbyists - If there is a ban on lobbying, you should spend more on lobbying.