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Although federal lobbying expenditures increased in the fourth quarter of 2013, it was not enough to make the full year total as high as 2012. The full year 2013 lobbying expenditures were $3.25 billion, down from $3.34 billion in 2012.  

Lobbying in the Health Care sector remained the largest area of interest, while some industry sectors did show increases from the previous year. Companies and trade associations lobbying on the farm bill pushed the totals for the Agriculture sector higher, and those lobbying on Communication/Technology issues also increased.  

The top lobbying sectors  in CY2013 were:

Health Care $549 million, down from $555 million in 2012.
Finance/Insurance $415 million, down from $428 million.
Communication /Technology $381 million, up from $372 million.
Energy/Natural Resources $327 million, down from $353 million
Business- Retail/Services $250 million, down from $321 million.
Transportation $228 million, down from $239 million.
Manufacturing $150 million, down from $152 million.
Agriculture $148 million, up from $134 million.
Defense $132 million, down from $134 million.
Single Issue Groups $127 million, up from 99 million.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, lobbying expenditures increased to $826 million from $788 million the third quarter. An increase from the third to the fourth quarter is not unusual, due to high legislative activity in the first quarter, and again after the summer and Labor Day breaks.

The top spending organization in the fourth quarter was the Chamber of Commerce, which spent $16.5 million. The National Association of Realtors spent $12.6 million. Northrop Grumman spent $7.3 million. An earlier posting highlighted the top 25 organizations lobbying in the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, the Health Care sector increased to $137 million from $132 million; Finance/Insurance increased to $103 million from $100 million; Communication/Technology increased to $100 million from $90 million (View earlier article on specific groups); Energy/Natural Resources increased to $84 million from $76 million; Business-Retail increased to $67 million from 60 million.

The top lobbying firms reporting income for lobbying work in the fourth quarter include:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP $8,777,500 (169 clients) in the fourth quarter, up from $8,602,500 (168 clients) in the third quarter.
Patton Boggs LLLP $7,275,000 (196 clients), up from $7,005,000 (202 clients).
Podesta Group Inc. $6,790,000 (112 clients), down from $6,947,500 (114 clients).
Van Scoyoc Associates Inc. $6,032,500 (207 clients), up from $5,062,500 (210 clients).
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP $5,327,500 (107 clients), down from $6,257,000 (109 clients).
Holland & Knight LLP $4,640,000 (164 clients), up from $4,610,000 (169 clients).
Williams & Jensen PLLC $4,500,000 (121 clients), up from $4,487,500 (122 clients).
Capitol Counsel LLC $4,082,500 (85 clients), up from $3,837,500 (83 clients).
K&L Gates LLP $4,000,000 (157 clients), down from $4,262,500 (157 clients).
BGR Holding LLC $3,457,500 (80 clients), down from $3,740,000 (83 clients).

While no new firms entered the top ten ranks in the fourth quarter, smaller firms did show movement during all of 2013. A Roll Call article, Revenge of the Little Shops, highlights several lobbying firms that showed increases. Thorn Run Partners lobbying revenue increased 43.5% to $3,850,000 from $2,610,000. Shockey Scofield Solutions lobbying revenue increased 30% to $3,395,000 from $2,610,000. Thorsen French Advocacy lobbying revenue increased 19% to $2,930,000 from $2,450,000.

The largest payment to a lobby firm during the fourth quarter was $860,000 paid by the Gila River Indian Community to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

Other large payments included $850,000 paid by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd also to Akin Gump; $730,000 paid by Qualcomm Inc. to Covington & Burling LLP; $710,000 paid by Lorillard Tobacco Co. to Dickstein Shapiro LLP; and $500,000 paid by HR Policy Association to McGuiness & Yager LLP.

Specific rankings on lobbying by organizations, by industry sector, by and lobbying firm can be found on Political MoneyLine’s Lobby $ and Lobbyists databases.

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