Companies regularly engage in lobbying campaigns to influence legislation and regulation to favor their business. Lobbying occurs at all levels of government, from the municipal and state level, to federal elections. As of April, 2023, Statistica reported total lobbing expenditures exceeding $4 billion annually with the pharmaceutical, tech, insurance, and fossil fuel sectors among the top spenders either through direct lobbying, or indirectly through third-party organizations such as business associations like the U.S. Chamber and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which crafts pro-business model legislation. Some of the issues that atttract significant lobbying dollars include drug pricing, climate change, and gun safety, among others.
Our Theory of Change
Through dialogues and the filing of shareholder resolutions, investors have called for robust governance structures to mitigate lobbying abuse and increased disclosure of both direct and indirect corporate lobbying activities to ensure they are consistent with corporate values and mission and are not serving to prioritize corporate interests over the public interest.
The Business Case for Action
Responsible lobbying ensures full transparency to all corporate stakeholders and includes policies and oversight structures that will mitigate the risks – both to the company and the public interest – of potential abuse. Responsible lobbying helps to restore faith in our government and economy creating a favorable climate for business investment.
Through a combination of dialogue and the filing shareholder resolutions, ICCR’s members are pressing these companies to be transparent about their lobbying activities and expenditures and to address misalignment between their publicly-stated policy and their actual spending.