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Lobbying Disclosure

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After decades of failed attempts to close the many loopholes of the 1946 Regulation of Lobbying Act, Congress finally stepped up to the plate at the end of 1995 and approved the fairly sweeping Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) of 1995. LDA represents a comprehensive reform when compared to the earlier regulatory efforts – only about 10 percent of lobbyists felt compelled to register under the earlier Act – though it certainly was seen as falling short of a complete success by its biggest sponsors.

The Lobbying Disclosure Act received unanimous approval in both the House and the Senate and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on December 19, 1995. The new Act took effect on January 1, 1996. However, a fairly reliable disclosure database of lobbying activity did not become available until calendar year 1999. In the brief span between 1999 and 2004, the amount reported on lobbying expenditures at the federal level increased 44 percent.

• Chart & Graph of Overall Expenditures on Federal Lobbying, 1999-2004

    » congress | govt reform | government | disclosure


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