It was a very good year... for lobbyists

Special interest groups, led by the health care industry, spent a record amount of cash in 2009

Published February 16, 2010 10:17PM (EST)

In 2009, the sum total of all the goods and services produced in the U.S., the Gross Domestic Product, fell by 2.9 percent from 2008, the worst performance for the U.S. economy in 60 years.

But not all was doom and gloom. According to a new report from the Center for Responsive Politics, federal lobbying expenditures hit an all time high. (Thanks to Naked Captialism for the link.)

The clients of federal lobbyists spent $3.47 billion in 2009, up five percent from 2008, the previous record holder. The supreme champion? Health care!

At nearly $266.8 million, the pharmaceutical and health products industry's federal lobbying expenditures not only outpaced all other business industries and special interest areas in 2009, but stand as the greatest amount ever spent on lobbying efforts by a single industry for one year.

Health care reform: The lifetime employment act for federal lobbyists.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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