US President Joe Biden will go to the White House in Washington on April 14, 2021 to discuss his plan to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan.
Andrew Harnik | Pool | Reuters
Several corporate giants have actively campaigned for the White House and members of Congress to receive two of President Joe Biden’s massive spending packages.
At least two dozen organizations have lobbied on Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bill, which he signed in March, and his $ 2 trillion infrastructure proposal. This is based on disclosure reports audited by CNBC in the first quarter. Reports range from January, the month Biden was inaugurated, to the end of March.
Microsoft, Koch Industries, Verizon, Delta, Bayer, Pacific Gas and Electric, T-Mobile, Lockheed Martin and Comcast are among the companies that have advocated the Covid bill or the infrastructure package. In some cases, companies have recruited DC brokers for both measures.
Large trade groups such as the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the National Association of Manufacturers have also used lobbyists to influence the initiatives.
Corporate lobbyists worked with various departments within Biden’s administration, including the White House office run by the President’s Chief of Staff, Ron Klain.
The White House did not respond to requests for comment prior to its release. All of the companies mentioned in this story declined to comment or did not respond to requests seeking comment.
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CNBC previously reported how executives contacted the administration to share their ideas about paying for Biden’s infrastructure plan. Biden plans to increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, which some companies and many business-friendly groups have rejected.
Telecommunications company T-Mobile paid Putala Strategies $ 90,000 in the first quarter. The company was founded by Christopher Putala, who has worked with the White House office for T-Mobile for the past three months.
A White House official told CNBC that Putala did not lobby Klain himself. The official did not say who the T-Mobile lobbyist worked with in the White House office.
Putala was an attorney for Biden when he served on the Senate Judiciary Committee. According to the lobbying report, Putala has been working to influence the White House on both Biden’s infrastructure plan and the coronavirus relief proposal.
The file said Putala had advocated “broadband industry practices, cellular service provision issues, spectrum management issues, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and the American Jobs Plan proposal” in the White House and Congress .
Biden’s infrastructure plan calls for a $ 100 billion investment to expand public access to broadband. Spending would target underserved areas and prioritize support for broadband networks associated with local governments, nonprofits and cooperatives.
Delta Air Lines paid $ 30,000 to Rowland Strategy Group in the first quarter to at least partially promote both the Covid auxiliary bill and the infrastructure package.
The lobbyist running the account is James Rowland, the company’s founder, and he’s partnered with members of Congress. The report notes that Rowland advocated “Congressional Economic Recovery Responses to the COVID Pandemic; American Rescue Plan, American Jobs Plan”.
Prior to opening his lobbying shop, Rowland had served as chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee for about a year, according to his LinkedIn page.
Biden’s plan calls for $ 621 billion to be invested in transportation infrastructures such as bridges, roads and airports. Senate Republicans have proposed putting $ 44 billion into airports.
Koch Industries, Verizon, Bayer and Microsoft were some of the companies that focused on lobbying for the Covid relief bill in the first quarter.
Koch, a huge conglomerate of libertarian billionaire and political activist Charles Koch, spent over $ 2.6 million on lobbying in the first quarter. According to the disclosure report, part of his focus was on lobbying Congress for the Covid Relief Act.
The file also states that the company had campaigned for Biden’s “Better jobs and economic recovery” plan and the associated bill. This plan contains his infrastructure proposal.
Microsoft spent a little over $ 2.5 million on lobbying in the first three months of 2021.
The Covid bill was, according to documents, one of the many topics Microsoft advocated earlier this year. Regarding the Covid bill and the other issues, Microsoft stood up for members of Congress, the President’s Executive Office, and other administrative agencies.
The President’s Executive Office comprises several advisory groups to the President, including the Council of Economic Advisers, the National Security Council, and the Bureau of Administration and Budget.
Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.