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10 Largest Lobbying Groups in the United States

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Although many people aren’t aware of their importance, lobbying groups play a crucial role in the United States legal system. Lobbyists represent groups of common interests within the population and present the needs of the people to the government in hopes of influencing legislation to their benefit.

As you might imagine, it takes a lot of money to relay these important messages and change the direction of a nation’s legislation! Today, let’s take a look at 10 of the largest lobbying groups in the United States. We’ll rank them according to their most recent yearly lobbying budgets and learn a bit about each one’s focus.

  1. AT&T

 Yearly Spending: $18.5 million
 Focus: Telecommunications
 Primary Location: Dallas, Texas
 Year Founded: 1983

AT&T  Source:

AT&T is one of the most well-known telecommunications companies in the United States, and has seen its fair share of scandal during recent years after making payments to Trump’s notorious lawyer, Michael Cohen. The resulting blows to AT&T’s reputation has caused them to be more transparent with where their funds go.

Did You Know?

Top lobbyist Bob Quinn announced plans to step down following AT&T’s drop in reputation after hiring Michael Cohen.

  1. American Medical Association

 Yearly Spending: $20.4 million
 Focus: Medical education and public health
 Primary Location: Chicago, Illinois
 Year Founded: 1847

American_Medical_Association  Source:

The American Medical Association boasts one of the United States’ wealthiest political action committees and dispenses a great deal of money to their chosen political campaigns. The AMA’s lobbying group states that they strive to improve the healthcare system and make medical care more accessible to patients. This lobbying group has taken a strong defensive stance against bills that would come between patients and access to affordable, quality medical services.

Did You Know?

The AMA was founded by a group of doctors who were concerned that national medical regulations were sub-par.

  1. Alphabet Inc

 Yearly Spending: $21.7 million
 Focus: Technology, internet, and software development
 Primary Location: Mountain View, California
 Year Founded: 2015

Alphabet_Inc  Source:

Alphabet is already an extremely influential company with an unavoidable presence in tech and communications markets. This company also spends a great deal on lobbying in order to have a good amount of political sway, which has made some people suspicious. For instance, in 2017, a group of nuns known as The Benedictine Sisters of Baltimore pressured Alphabet to be more open about how much it spent on lobbying.

Did You Know?

Alphabet’s primary subsidiaries that make the largest contributions to lobbying funds are Google Inc, Waymo LLC, and Google X.

  1. Business Roundtable

 Yearly Spending: $23.1 million
 Focus: Businesses and nonprofits
 Primary Location: Washington, D.C.
 Year Founded: 1972

Business_Roundtable  Source:

Business Roundtable is an association made up entirely of CEOs who come together to discuss the current economic conditions and push for whatever legislation seems most economically beneficial. This group believes that, for the most part, what’s best for businesses is best for the American people on an individual basis as well. As a result, they strive to make society better by pushing for the best possible business conditions.

Did You Know?

Business Roundtable has advocated for things like free competition between businesses to increase motivation for each business to turn out better, more competitive results.

  1. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

 Yearly Spending: $23.6 million
 Focus: Health insurance
 Primary Location: Chicago, Illinois
 Year Founded: 1929

Blue_Cross_Blue_Shield  Source:

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is incredibly well-known since it is one of the largest health insurance providers in the United States, granting coverage to more than 90 million Americans. The BCBS Association lobbying group represents approximately 39 different independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Many people are skeptical of BCBS because its claims and actions often contradict each other. 

Did You Know?

Some of the top recipients of the BCBS Association’s lobbying funds include Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Kevin McKarthy.

  1. American Hospital Association

 Yearly Spending: $23.9 million
 Focus: Hospitals and healthcare networks
 Primary Location: Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C.
 Year Founded: 1898

America_Hospital_Association  Source:

The American Hospital Association represents hospital systems, medical centers, and their patients. It was originally founded as the American Association of Hospital Superintendents for the purpose of enabling hospital superintendents to collaborate and network more effectively. One of their core priorities is to make communication between all levels of the medical field easier and more effective. Many people are skeptical of BCBS because its claims and actions often contradict each other.

Did You Know?

Although the original focal points of the AHA’s lobby group revolved around hospital efficiency, they now include education, public welfare, and research as well.

  1. Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America

 Yearly Spending: $27.9 million
 Focus: Pharmaceutical companies
 Primary Location: Washington, D.C.
 Year Founded: 1958

Pharmaceutical_Research_and_Manufacturers_of_America  Source:

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) is largely to thank for many of our new discoveries related to pharmaceuticals and new medical drug research. It persistently lobbies for greater funding to support medical research in hopes of finding new and improved medical cures. However, PhRMA also tends to promote whichever legislation is best for drug manufacturers instead of what’s best for patients, and has been accused of valuing profits above people’s health.

Did You Know?

This group has been given the negative nickname “Big Pharma” by people who disapprove of their willingness to charge so much for pharmaceuticals.

  1. Open Society Policy Center

 Yearly Spending: $31.5 million
 Focus: Domestic and international government policies
 Primary Location: New York City, New York
 Year Founded: 1994

Open_Society_Policy_Center  Source:

George Soros, the founder of Open Society Foundations, is a wealthy philanthropist who hopes to sway US policies with his unique blend of experience in economics and philosophy. His Open Society Policy Center organization focuses on human rights and is well-funded by Soros’ hefty personal wallet. This lobbying group strongly advocates Democratic beliefs and policies.

Did You Know?

The Open Society Policy Center is the Open Society Foundation’s Washington, D.C. office and focuses on issues such as public health, human rights, and immigration.

  1. National Association of Realtors

 Yearly Spending: $72.8 million
 Focus: Real estate
 Primary Location: Chicago, Illinois
 Year Founded: 1908

National_Association_of_Realtors  Source:

This North American Trade Association is centered around residential and commercial real estate. The group was originally founded as the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges, later adopting the current name in 1972. The National Association of Realtors states that an honest approach with plenty of integrity is core to their lobbying methods.

Did You Know?

The term “realtor” actually traces its roots to the National Association of Realtors and was coined by the then-vice-president Charles Chadbourn as a way of distinguishing group members from other real estate agents.

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