With David Beavers
CORPORATE AMERICA MIGHT NEED MORE MONEY, LOBBYISTS SAY: The coronavirus relief bill signed into law last week included $454 billion to fund a massive loan program for big and medium-sized businesses backed by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve. “While that may sound like a lot of money, there is already intense competition for it among different credit and liquidity needs in the economy that will be addressed through various Federal Reserve programs,” the law and lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. The Fed is expected to kick in hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars of its own, but there are fears it might not be enough.
— So Brownstein Hyatt is calling for more money to be included in the next bill. “Congress has begun work on a fourth economic recovery package; more money for Treasury to further capitalize this and other funds should be a centerpiece of that legislation,” according to the note. The Fed should also create a special fund to buy state and municipal debt, the firm argues, among other needs.
CORONAVIRUS LOBBYING SHIFTS TO EFFORTS TO SHAPE THE RULES: When a massive spending bill is signed into law, lobbyists shift their efforts from trying to get their priorities into the legislation to trying to shape the rules mandated by the law. The coronavirus relief bill is no exception. If the rules aren’t written in the right way, “many provisions of the legislation will carry unintended consequences and block certain businesses from accessing the programs being offered, stifling the success of the Administration’s relief package,” Sean Kennedy, the top lobbyist for the National Restaurant Association, wrote on Tuesday in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Jovita Carranza, the head of the Small Business Administration.
— In the three-page letter, Kennedy urged the administration to write the rules in certain ways. For example, Kennedy asked Mnuchin and Carranza to make sure restaurants quickly received money from a retroactive tax break the trade group successfully fought to include in the law. “We encourage you to adopt a method to efficiently and expeditiously refund restaurants for QIP and bonus depreciation-related amendments to their 2018 and 2019 tax returns,” Kennedy wrote in the letter, referring to the Qualified Improvement Property tax break.
TRUMP SET TO MEET WITH OIL EXECUTIVES ON FRIDAY: “President Trump is set to meet Friday with the heads of some of the largest U.S. oil companies to discuss government measures to help the industry weather an unprecedented oil crash, people familiar with the matter said,” The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Matthews and Timothy Puko report. “The meeting is to take place at the White House and will include Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Darren Woods, Chevron Corp. Chief Executive Mike Wirth, Occidental Petroleum Corp. Chief Executive Vicki Hollub and Harold Hamm, executive chairman of Continental Resources Inc., the people said.”
— They’re “set to discuss potential aid to the industry, including tariffs on oil imports into the U.S. from Saudi Arabia, and a waiver of a law that requires American vessels be used to transport goods, including oil, between U.S. ports, according to two of the people. But the oil industry isn’t unified in its support for some of the measures, the people familiar with the matter said. Only Mr. Hamm supports oil tariffs, according to the people.”
CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT OF RELIEF FUNDS WON’T BE EASY: POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney and Melanie Zanona dig into some of the challenges facing Congress as it tries to oversee spending of coronavirus relief funds from afar. The looming oversight clash is reminiscent of the last major recovery effort, when Congress battled over the distribution of stimulus and bailout funds. One of the flashpoints was whether companies should be allowed to use taxpayer dollars to lobby — a contentious debate that is already resurfacing today.” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, “is considering introducing legislation to ban companies from using coronavirus relief cash to lobby, according to a person familiar with the matter.”
— Maloney championed a similar bill during the financial crisis. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced a companion bill at the time that drew support from a number of senators who are still in Congress today, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.). “I find it completely unacceptable that taxpayer dollars intended to stabilize the economy could find their way into the bank accounts of lobbying firms,” Feinstein said on the Senate floor when she and Snowe reintroduced the legislation in 2009.
HOW GUN STORES BECAME ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES: “After a lobbying blitz that included calls to both the outgoing and incoming chiefs of staff and a White House aide who used to work for the National Rifle Association, the [Trump] administration revised its initial guidelines and declared gun stores and shooting ranges to be critical businesses that can stay open during the outbreak — putting them on par with hospitals, grocery stores and pharmacies,” POLITICO’s Anita Kumar reports.
— “The change has already prompted one state to reverse its previous order and reopen gun stores.’It wouldn’t have been my definition, but that’s the definition at the federal level,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat who supports gun restrictions. “I didn’t get a vote on that.”
WHO WANTS HELP IN THE NEXT RELIEF BILL: “A wave of cancellations in residential rooftop projects, disruptions in supply chains from Asia and a potential glut of red ink in the financial markets are crashing down on the solar industry, which is pressing Congress for help when it considers a new round of pandemic aid,” POLITICO’s Eric Wolff reports. “That will put them in line with dozens of other industries that are ramping up their lobbying activities to win accommodations in any new packages lawmakers develop to stem the economic catastrophe that has thrown millions of Americans out of work as the outbreak of Covid-19 worsens across the country.”
American Continental Group: Flaghip [sic] Olympia Foundation
Barker Leavitt, PLLC (SKA Mr. James C. Barker): Wasatch Front Regional Council
Bergman Strategies, LLC: American Mental Health Counselors Association
Blue Marble Strategy LLC: In Our Hands Action Fund
CTF Global LLC (formerly filing as The Grossman Group, LLC): Paratek
Da Vinci Group: Heritage Health Solutions
J M Burkman & Associates: Black Swan Defense
J M Burkman & Associates: Hypervan
McGuireWoods Consulting (A Subsidiary of McGuireWoods LLP): American HealthCare, LLC
Miller Strategies, LLC: Adelanto HealthCare Ventures, LLC
Miller Strategies, LLC: Florida Crystals Corporation Miller Strategies, LLC: Fuel Freedom Foundation
Miller Strategies, LLC: Space Exploration Technologies Corp.
Miller-Wenhold Capitol Strategies: Project Management Institute
O’Brien, Gentry & Scott, LLC: BlueSky Innovations Holdings, Inc.
O’Brien, Gentry & Scott, LLC: X-Bow Launch Systems
Peck Madigan Jones: Association for Clinical Oncology
Peck Madigan Jones: Pathfinder International Peck Madigan Jones: SIRVA
PRASAM: Birmingham Technologies
Sidley Austin LLP: Willis Lease Finance Corporation
Squire Patton Boggs: American Staffing Association
The Ingram Group LLC: Guardion Health Sciences, Inc.
Tiber Creek Health Strategies, Inc.: Peck Madigan Jones (on behalf of Association for Clinical Oncology)
Animal Policy Group, LLC: Medical Management International, Inc. DBA Banfield Pet Hospital
Federal Business Group: SunRay Scientific
Jochum Shore & Trossevin PC (formerly Black Swan LLC – Jochum Shore & Trossevin: Cannabis Trade Federation (formerly New Federalism Fund)
Jochum Shore & Trossevin PC (formerly Black Swan LLC – Jochum Shore & Trossevin: New Venture Fund
Jochum Shore & Trossevin PC (formerly Black Swan LLC – Jochum Shore & Trossevin: The Pew Charitable Trusts
Mr. David Stewart: American Gaming Association