The 20 companies and groups that spend the most money to influence lawmakers

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty ImagesK Street NW in Washington, DC, where many lobbying firms are based.
  • Corporations and trade organisations spend tens of millions of dollars every year to influence public policy.
  • The top companies and groups spend large sums of money to push their policy objectives to their own benefit.
  • Here are the 20 lobbying groups that spent the most in Washington, DC in 2018.

Corporations, organisations, and groups looking to influence public policy one way or another shell out large sums of money to lobbying firms every year.

In 2018, it was no different. According to data from OpenSecrets, a watchdog website that tracks money in politics, here are the biggest spenders on lobbying in 2018.

Southern Company

David McNew/NewsmakersElectric utilities.

Southern Company, which focuses on American gas and electric utilities, spent $US12,300,000 in 2018.


David Ramos/Getty ImagesFacebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Amid several scandals and public relations fiascos, Facebook spent $US12,620,000 on lobbying in 2018.

Lockheed Martin

Joe McNally/Getty ImagesThe United States Air Force’s F/A-22 Raptor, created by Lockheed Martin.

Defence giant Lockheed Martin spent $US13,205,502 in 2018.

NCTA: The Internet & Television Association

In 2018, the Internet & Television Association spent $US13,240,000. They are a trade association focused primarily on broadband and television.

Bayer AG

Eliot J. Schechter/Getty ImagesAn antibiotic made by Bayer AG.

Bayer AG, a German pharmaceutical company, spent $US13,430,000 on lobbying in 2018.

National Association of Broadcasters

Photofusion/UIG via Getty ImagesA television broadcast.

The National Association of Broadcasters spent $US14,170,000 in 2018.

Northrop Grumman via Getty ImagesA Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk drone.

Defence contractor Northrop Grumman spent $US14,303,000 on lobbying efforts in 2018.


Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesAmazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Amazon, which announced their intent to build two new headquarters in Virginia and New York in 2018, spent $US14,400,000 on lobbying. They ultimately pulled out of building a new facility in New York.


Comcast spent $US15,072,000 in 2018 on lobbying efforts.


Stephen Brashear/Getty ImagesA Boeing 737 MAX 8 airliner.

Boeing, the largest airliner manufacturer in the world, spent $US15,120,000 on lobbying in 2018.


Toby Jorrin/Getty ImagesAT&T corporate headquarters.

Telecommunications giant AT&T spent $US18,529,000 on lobbying in 2018.

American Medical Association

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty ImagesFormer President Bill Clinton in the boardroom of the American Medical Association.

The American Medical Association, which is the largest trade associations for physicians, spent $US20,417,000 on lobbying in 2018.

Alphabet Inc

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesGoogle CEO Sundar Pichai.

Alphabet, which is the parent company of Google, spent $US21,740,000 on lobbying in 2018.

Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable is a group of CEOs who push for public policy backing their interests. They spent $US23,160,000 in 2018.

Blue Cross Blue Shied

Raymond Boyd/Getty ImagesBlue Cross Blue Shield

One of the biggest United States health insurance giants spent $US23,604,221 on lobbying in 2018.

American Hospital Association

David McNew/Getty ImagesDoctors performing on a patient.

The Chicago-based American Hospital Association spent $US23,927,842 on lobbying efforts.

Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America

The Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America is a trade association for drug manufacturers. They spent $US27,989,250 on lobbying in 2018.

Open Society Policy Center

The Open Society Policy Center, a human rights organisation founded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros that seeks to influence US policy, spent $US31,520,000 in 2018.

National Association of Realtors

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesAn open house for sale.

The National Association of Realtors spent $US72,808,648 on lobbying in 2018.

US Chamber of Commerce

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesUS Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue.

The US Chamber of Commerce spent a whopping $US94,800,000 on lobbying in 2018. The group is the largest spender in 2018, focusing on pushing business-oriented public policy.

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