Venable partner Greg Gill was quoted in a March 15 story in The Hill about the many ways lobbyists who focus on securing earmarks for clients are adapting to House Republicans’ and House Democrats’ self-imposed bans on a variety of earmarks.
Earlier this month, House Democrats announced a ban on federal earmarks to corporations. House Republicans soon followed by banning all earmark requests from members of their caucus.
The most obvious response from lobbyists is to focus their attention on securing earmarks from the Senate, which is unlikely to enact a ban on the practice. For lobbyists whose clients fall outside the House Democrats’ ban on corporate earmarks, educating congressional staffers has become job one.
Gill told the publication that he ensures that Capitol Hill aides understand that his firm’s clients are nonprofits and that the earmarked funds will be put to good use and will not embarrass lawmakers.
Although his clients’ nonprofit status has made House earmarks to the organizations permissible, it not made his job any easier. “The more the earmarks become the cause célèbre, the harder it is going to be to separate the good from the bad,” he said.