US Senate Passes FAA Bill, Reduces Lobbyist Influence

The US Senate passes a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, limiting lobbyists' influence on legislation. Lobbyists are now focusing on passing or pausing high-profile priorities, including the Credit Card Competition Act and farm bill, before the end of the 118th Congress.

author-image
Nitish Verma
New Update
US Senate Passes FAA Bill, Reduces Lobbyist Influence

US Senate Passes FAA Bill, Reduces Lobbyist Influence

The US Senate has passed a massive Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, adds reducing opportunities for lobbyists to advance their clients' priorities. The bill's passage is seen as a significant development, as it limits the influence of special interest groups on legislation.

Why this matters: This bill's passage sets a precedent for reducing the impact oflobbying on legislation, potentially paving the way for more legislation that serves the public interest rather than special interest groups. As a result, it could lead to more transparent and accountable governance in the US.

Despite this setback, lobbyists are still racing to pass or pause several high-profile priorities for their clients before the end of the 118th Congress. The remaining targets include the Credit Card Competition Act, also known as the "swipe fee" bill, which aims to reduce operating costs for small businesses by requiring large financial institutions to offer at least two credit card payment processing networks.

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), a proponent of the bill, stated, "The Visa-MasterCard duopoly has used money and influence in Washington to turn politicians' eyes away from predatory swipe fees." The bill's detractors argue it would take away popular rewards programs and do nothing to lower costs for consumers.

Another key legislative priority is the farm bill, continues, take, key, steps, ahead, may, new which dictates agricultural and food programs, including SNAP and WIC. Agribusiness and hunger prevention advocates are jockeying to get their priorities included, with the biggest battle brewing over the future of food assistance programs. Republicans are proposing cuts to nutrition programs and conservation funding.

The SAFE Banking Act, which would allow cannabis businesses to access banking services, has yet to receive a vote on the Senate floor despite passing a Senate committee last September. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry are exploring attaching the bill to other must-pass legislation.

Efforts to reform the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) industry and the railroad industry are also underway, with lawmakers seeking to address issues related to prescription drug pricing, transparency, safety, and efficiency. Ryan Taylor, founder and CEO of 440 Strategies, advises clients to stay engaged in federal policymaking, stating, "I'm telling clients not to expect major sweeping proposals outside of annual authorizations to be passed before the election. I am encouraging them to stay engaged in federal policymaking now more than ever, or risk being caught flatfooted."

Lobbying, influence, legislation, including, bill, tops $500 million. The Senate has sent President Biden over 70 bills since January 2023, including massive appropriations bills and stopgap measures. Lawmakers have until the end of the 118th Congress to pass remaining legislation, with the November election and end-of-year funding packages providing opportunities for lobbyists to advance their clients' priorities. The passage of the FAA reauthorization bill marks a significant step in reducing the influence of special interest groups on legislation, but the battle for lobbyists to shape key policies continues.

Key Takeaways

  • US Senate passes FAA reauthorization bill, limiting lobbyist influence.
  • Bill sets precedent for reducing special interest group impact on legislation.
  • Lobbyists still pushing for priorities, including credit card and farm bills.
  • Other key legislative priorities include SAFE Banking Act and PBM reform.
  • Lobbying efforts continue, with $500 million spent on influencing legislation.