Lobbyists Go Underground

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Media Outlet: The Economist

Lee Drutman's work on congressional capacity was referenced in an article from The Economist

Purging lobbyists may be as hard as eradicating illegal drugs, and for the same reason: strong demand. So argue Lee Drutman and Steven Teles, two academics, who reason that Congress is increasingly incapable of creating policies. The number of workers in the Congressional Research Service, Congressional Budget Office and Government Accountability Office, the internal information services that provide unbiased reports to members, has dropped by 40% since 1979 even as legislation has grown more complex. Paid influencers, including those without the word “lobbyist” on their business cards, fill the gap. 
Since Congress is unlikely to hire many more wonks, the Trump International Hotel will continue to sell fishy cocktails and pricey rooms. Mr Trump’s company had expected to sustain $2m in losses after opening the posh project in the first four months of 2017. Instead, it turned a $2m profit.

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Lee Drutman is a senior fellow in the program on political reform at New America. He is the author of The Business of America is Lobbying (Oxford University Press, 2015).