DATA RELEASE: Huge Lobbying Increases by Insurance, Oil, and Pharmaceutical Companies in Q3, 2015


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October 22, 2015 -- On October 20th, filings on federal lobbying expenditures made between July 1, 2015 and September 30, 2015 were due to the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. MapLight examined filings by companies that saw the largest increases in spending on lobbying from Q2 to Q3.

Insurance companies Liberty Mutual, Northwestern Mutual, and MassMutual each spent over 160 percent more on lobbying in Q3 than in Q2.

    • Northwestern Mutual spent $2.7 million lobbying in Q3 2015, an all-time high since 2008 and 167 percent more than in the previous quarter.

    • Liberty Mutual spent $1.6 million lobbying in Q3 2015, an all-time high since 2008 and 220 percent more than in the previous quarter.

  • MassMutual spent $1.8 million lobbying in Q3 2015, an all-time high since 2008 and 161 percent more than in the previous quarter.


Oil companies Occidental Petroleum and Marathon Petroleum each spent over 150 percent more on lobbying in Q3 than in Q2.

    • Occidental Petroleum spent over $3 million lobbying in Q3 2015, a high in year 2015 and 191 percent more than in the previous quarter.

  • Marathon Petroleum spent over $1.2 million lobbying in Q3 2015, 153 percent more than in the previous quarter and an all-time high since 2011, when it was spun off from Marathon Oil Corporation.


Pharmaceutical company Allergan and distributor Cardinal Health each spent over 160 percent more on lobbying in Q3 than in Q2.

    • Allergan spent over $1.1 million lobbying in Q3 2015, an all-time high since 2012 and 211 percent more than in the previous quarter.

  • Cardinal Health spent $870,000 lobbying in Q3 2015, 181 percent more than in the previous quarter, and has spent more lobbying in the first three quarters of 2015 than in the four quarters total of any prior year since 2008.

The top 10 lobbying organizations of Q3 2015 spent a combined $62,580,000.

Organization Quarter 3 Lobbying
U.S. Chamber of Commerce* $21,090,000
National Association of Realtors $7,520,000
National Association of Manufacturers $5,980,000
American Bankers Association $4,290,000
American Medical Association $4,280,000
Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America $4,240,000
American Hospital Association $4,020,000
National Association of Broadcasters $3,930,000
Google $3,650,000
Open Society Foundations $3,580,000

To see more detailed information on organizations’ lobbying since 2008, explore our comprehensive federal lobbying database.

To see our analysis of top lobbying spenders in Q2 2015, click here.

*Lobbying expenditures made by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($16,020,000) were aggregated with expenditures made by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform ($5,070,000), an affiliate organization.


Methodology: MapLight analysis of federal lobbying disclosure filings from the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives between July 1, 2015, and September 30, 2015. Lobbying totals represent money paid by an organization to each lobbying firm for services on all issues. Organizations report total lobbying expenses as a lump sum, which includes both in-house lobbying expenses and amounts paid to (and reported by) lobbying firms that they employ. MapLight calculates a given organization’s in-house lobbying expenses by subtracting the total income reported by the lobbying firms that it employs from the organization’s total reported expenses. In general, filers may round their spending and expenses to the nearest $10,000, and we treat the designation of “Less than $5,000” as a value of $0. MapLight updates its lobbying database daily to capture amendments. Full reports are due on the 20th day of January, April, July, and October.

MapLight is a 501(c)3 research organization that tracks money’s influence on politics.