The State of Lobbying in a Gridlocked Congress

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Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Denise Bode, principal at Cornerstone Government Affairs and Emanuel Rouvelas, partner at K&L Gates, discuss the state of lobbying in Washington. D.C. and the top policy issues that lobbyists are focused on and why there is more action for lobbyists on the state level and on the federal level. They speak on Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers."

That is the capital dome.

" market makers" is live in dc with a special edition and we will keep it going.

The next industry we will talk about has always been one of washington's growth businesses and neither recession or regulation can slow it down and i am talking about lobbying.

Turn the financial crisis, the amount of money to influence lawmakers kept rising and continues.

What is the state of the industry today?

We have two experts with us today.

When you look for a hired gun, you call this partner ata& l gates.

Thanks for being here.

David plouffe was just here and we were talking about what happens after the question of syria is resolved if it ever gets resolved.

We will be back onto the budget and back onto immigration.

We might be back into political gridlock.

Some people think political paralysis is great for your business.

Is that true?

I don't think so.

One of the key factors we have seen happen when a few members can stop legislation , it makes it much more difficult and it turns the balance of power back to the administration where they can operate through the regulatory process.

Very little is getting done and the only thing hitting done is appropriations bills.

We spend a lot of time putting subject matter experts together at our firm with former key staff of appropriations committee to work behind the scenes.

Only cr's and appropriation ills are working and move things by trying to direct agency action because you are not getting big bills like farm bills or transportation.

Her specialty is energy.

You cover the waterfront.

What are the issues for which there is the most lobbying demands now?

Financial services is one that is huge and energy is used.

Denise's comment is correct that when you get a gridlock in congress, you get a rotation and the market on the regulatory stuff.

If you are in a law firm as we are, that focuses more on the regulatory issues and there is a connection between legislation and regulation that is ongoing.

In a global environment, you also have wings in transatlantic partnerships and trade and investment and stuff going on in the transpacific partnership.

The way the table is changes.

The oldest phrase in lobbying is " if you are not at the table, you are on the menu." the first step is to figure out where the table is and whether your clients need representation.

Where do you see the action going?

What are we going to see six months or one year from now?

There isn't a lot of action right now in congress except on appropriations bills and, hopefully, emigration.

There is a lot of activity going on in the states.

That is one of the reasons why i enjoy what i'm doing.

At cornerstone, we have six state offices and there is a lot of action going on in state legislatures.

That is an area where if you have the ability to work in the state, you can get a lot done and it may have as much influence at the state level as the federal level.

Is that the greatest growth opportunity for your business?

We are not talking about whether lobbying is good or bad.

It is a business and i am interested in knowing what it's like right now.

Business is good in that sense and particularly the connection -- if you have the ability to act in washington and in the states or a region, you have much better opportunity to serve your clients well.

They need representation because the clock is ticking.

On the regulatory side, you may have to work through approach bills in the house and senate but you also may need to go back to the states to get action.

Manny, how does it look from your perspective?

She focuses on specific issues.

I hesitate to call you a general list but that's the best word i can come up with.

I think of it as the opposite.

One of the biggest changes that has occurred is that you really cannot be a generalist.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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