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

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K Street NW in Washington, DC, where many lobbying firms are based. KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images
  • 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

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Electric utilities. David McNew/Newsmakers

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


Facebook

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

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


Lockheed Martin

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

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


NCTA: The Internet & Television Association

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NCTA President & CEO Michael Powell. Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The Walter Kaitz Foundation

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


Bayer AG

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An antibiotic made by Bayer AG. Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

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


National Association of Broadcasters

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A television broadcast. Photofusion/UIG via Getty Images

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


Northrop Grumman

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A Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk drone. aviation-images.com/UIG via Getty Images

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


Amazon

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Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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

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Comcast. Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Comcast

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


Boeing

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A Boeing 737 MAX 8 airliner. Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

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


AT&T

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AT&T corporate headquarters. Toby Jorrin/Getty Images

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


American Medical Association

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

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


Alphabet Inc

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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


Business Roundtable

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A business man. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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

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Blue Cross Blue Shield Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

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


American Hospital Association

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Doctors performing on a patient. David McNew/Getty Images

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


Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America

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Drug manufacturing. Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

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

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George Soros Getty Images / ChinaFotoPress

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

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An open house for sale. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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


US Chamber of Commerce

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

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.