Friday, February 21, 2014

The Shadow Lobbying Complex | The Nation

The Shadow Lobbying Complex | The Nation



It was 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and I found myself hanging around the House-side entrance to the Capitol building, hoping to interview lawmakers during the protracted government shutdown in October. The members had been called by the Republican leadership to open just one slice of the government without authorizing funds for the Affordable Care Act, a partial solution that had rallied Democrats in opposition. As dusk settled in, I lingered to interview the representatives as they walked in and out of what everyone considered at this point to be a scene of political theater. 



While I waited, a small crowd gathered, composed of men and women in business attire, creating something of a receiving line where they could exchange pleasantries with members of Congress as the latter made their way from their offices across Independence Avenue to cast a perfunctory vote. The city, with hundreds of thousands of federal workers sent home from the job, was far from dead. On Capitol Hill, the real financial engine of Washington, the selling of access and policy hummed along at full speed, and I was in the midst of it.
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