The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent $34.6 million on lobbying in the third quarter — the largest quarterly lobbying tab ever — according to it's lobbying report released today.
Tuesday is the deadline for all lobbying entities to file their third quarter reports, and the Chamber's report came in this morning and is available online. The Chamber is consistently the most prolific lobbying entity in the country, but it's quarterly tab tends to be much lower than the $34.6 million posted last quarter — more than twice the Chamber's lobbying bill for the entire first half of the year, and more than 50 percent higher than the third quarter of 2008.
I reviewed all lobbying filings at the Senate Office of Public Records, and found that the only quarterly filings by any groups claiming more than $34 million all had subsequently been amended downwards. Also, no entity ever reported a half-year lobbying total of more than $60 million, making the Chamber's Q3`09 the most expensive lobbying quarter for any entity ever.
I've put in calls to the Chamber to confirm that this number is correct, but given health-care, cash-for-clunkers, trade issues, and climate change, I believe it.