Some members of the House and Senate are lazy. Many of them are overwhelmed, especially now that they are forced to raise so much money for their campaigns and burdened with Congressional hearings. Regardless of their reasons, most of them find bills set before them that they must vote for without much or any idea of what legislation says.
That is where lobbyists come into the picture. From the outside, which is where the public sits, lobbyists’ jobs appear one way. Yet, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) just sent an eye-opening set of tweets that explain how lobbying really works in Washington. She tweeted:
‘This is how corporate lobbying works: Lobbyists ID bills they need to kill to keep profits high (no matter the human cost), come up w/ “sensible” talking points to mask intent + say policy is “misguided,” then schmooze policymakers in secret into accepting said talking points.’
She included a tweet by DC Bureau chief for The Intercept Ryan Grim. He captured dozens of Congressional staffers at a spa retreat where lobbyists plied them “with wine and talking points against Medicare for all:
‘Dozens of congressional staffers enjoyed a relaxing spa retreat in Virginia, where they were plied with wine and talking points against Medicare for All https://interc.pt/2E1Okrc by
Ocasio-Cortez noted that citizens may think lobbying is “transactional in nature:”
‘When I was looking at lobbying from the outside, just as a normal voting citizen, it appeared to me as more transactional in nature than it actually is. It’s not necessarily that a lobbyist calls you and says “vote/don’t vote for this bill or we won’t donate to you again…” /2’
Then, the New York representative explained how lobbying really works. “It’s that bundle (bag of money emoji):”
‘It’s that bundle
for elections, so you pick up their call,accept invites, become friends. In practice it’s not transactional, it’s social. So while ppl don’t see how lobbying influences votes, their whole enviro + staff has been exposed to mainly 1 point of view: lobbyists’.
One solution is for voters to learn about a bill that impacts them, boil it down to talking points, then educate their Senators and Representative locally and in D.C.
Twitter world went crazy over AOC’s tweets. Check out some of our favorites below: