The GOP Let Lobbyists Play a Bigger Role in Developing Tax Bill Than Democrats

An analysis by government watchdog organization Public Citizen indicated that the tax bill the GOP is desperate to push through was largely influenced by lobbyists.

The group found that of the just under 11,000 lobbyists working in Washington, DC, 6,243 lobbyists are currently working on taxes in some form this year. And of those just over 6,000 lobbyists working on tax issues, 31 have ties to the White House via either President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence. The most active lobbyists were working on behalf of what the report deemed a “who’s who of American corporations.”

“The mind-boggling number of lobbyists corporate America has hired to reshape the tax code is of almost biblical proportions and undoubtedly cost a fortune,” said Lisa Gilbert, Public Citizen’s vice president of legislative affairs. “But the rate reductions and other favors in the legislation will exact a far greater price on regular Americans.”

Adding to the notion that the Republican tax plan was written with special interests in mind, and not the average American, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said that lobbyists, not Republican Senators, have sent Democrats a list of amendments to the bill that was written mostly behind closed doors.

The amendments are named for the lawmaker who proposed them, but that lobbyists saw them before the minority party is a stunning development.

“We have just gotten list of amendments to be included in bill NOT from our R colleagues, but from lobbyists downtown. None of us have seen this list, but lobbyists have it,” McAskill said in a tweet.

Republican Senators have been pushing holdouts Friday to vote “yes” on the controversial bill, as a planned vote yesterday did not take place. The Senate is poised to vote on the bill late Friday.