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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, February 11, 2018 1:00 am

Lobbyists spent big in battle for tax cuts

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Money spent on lobbying by corporations, trade associations and special interest groups spiked during the final three months of 2017 as they battled for the biggest breaks possible in the most dramatic tax overhaul in more than 30 years.

The National Association of Realtors tallied $22.2 million between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, according to newly filed disclosure reports. That's double what the organization spent in the third quarter on lobbying activities.

The Business Roundtable spent $17.3 million in the fourth quarter, nearly quadruple the amount over the three previous months, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported spending $16.8 million, a $3.7 million increase.

President Donald Trump swept into the White House promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington, but lobbyists continue to wield considerable influence and they plied their trade with vigor as Congress crafted the $1.5 trillion tax-cut package.