Congress hasn't even approved the proposed debt plan championed by President Obama and congressional leaders but Washington lobbyists are already smacking their lips over what looks to be a lucrative new business opportunity. For K Street firms, the section of of the legislation with a bright red target is the 12-member bipartisan panel tasked with cutting more than $1 trillion in spending. “The 12 Members of the Super Committee are going to be lobbied so hard in the next four months, they will be known as the ‘Dirty Dozen,’” Republican lobbyist Alex Vogel tells Politico. So who's doing the lobbying and what aspects of the bill will be targeted? Here's what new reports are saying:
Social Security The parts of the legislation dealing with Social Security will face "intense lobbying," notes David Fahrenthold at The Washington Post. "The Strengthen Social Security Campaign, for instance, plans to target the members to dissuade them from cutting benefits." Syracuse University professor Eric Kingson tells The Post that cutting expenses via a super committee is a "cowardly way to make public policy that's going to affect every American. When changes are made, they ought to be made through the normal legislative process -- not through a commission that enables members of Congress to hide from very hard choices."
The defense industry and health care The Huffington Post's Sam Stein says the "defense lobby and health care industry" will be in high gear trying to stave off spending cuts in their respective areas. But if lawmakers pass on the super committee's recommendations, health care and defense lobbyists "will have extra time to engage in a lobbying campaign to ensure that their priorities aren't threatened."
Taxes "Tax lawyers and lobbyists are expecting to reap the most benefit as corporations look to defend their tax treatment and others try to get provisions included since this could be one of the only legislative vehicles to move before the end of the year," writes Politico's Anna Palmer. Jack Howard at Wexler Walker & Associates tells her that “Particularly on taxes, this is a debate that we really have not seen in this comprehensive of a fashion in years and years and years... This is going to be the central drama." The Tea Party advocacy group FreedomWorks is already planning on forming its own debt commission to lobby for spending cuts, reports Fahrenthold at The Washington Post. "We're going to dog them," a spokesman said. "Wherever they're going with their commission, we're going to have our own."