Regulation of Congressional Lobbies

March 7, 1928

Report Outline
Evolution of Washington Lobbies
Post-War Congressional Lobbies
The Lobbyists and Their Methods
State Laws and the Senate Lobby Bill

The Caraway bill for registration of lobbyists, with provision for public disclosure of the amount and sources of their income and the amount and purposes of their expenditures, was passed by the Senate, March 2, 1928. It is now pending before the House of Representatives, with indications pointing to its final enactment into law before the close of the present session.

The publicity principle embodied in the bill was first employed for the regulation of lobbies in Massachusetts in 1890', since which time it has been adopted in sixteen other states. During the lobby investigation of 1913 a federal registration bill was offered by former Senator Kenyon, but it encountered unexpected opposition from farm and labor organizations whose representatives joined with other lobbyists in opposing it and succeeded in preventing it from coming to a final vote. From the end of the Sixty-third to the beginning of the Seventieth Congress, although there were frequent complaints of lobbying activity, no serious consideration was given to lobby legislation in either house.

In the absence of any provision of federal law for registration of lobbyists, President Coolidge suggested, in his speech of February 4, 1928 at the dedication of the National Press Building, that responsibility for disclosing the operations of Washington lobbies rested with the press.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Lobbying and Special Interests
Apr. 15, 2022  Corporate Advocacy
Sep. 29, 2017  Think Tanks in Transition
Jun. 06, 2014  Regulating Lobbying
Jul. 22, 2005  Lobbying Boom
Dec. 26, 1997  Regulating Nonprofits
Dec. 15, 1989  Getting a Grip on Influence Peddling
Jun. 20, 1986  Think Tanks
Sep. 26, 1980  Special-Interest Politics
Jun. 30, 1978  Corporate Assertiveness
Dec. 13, 1950  Revision of the Lobby Act
May 08, 1946  Congressional Lobbying
Mar. 07, 1928  Regulation of Congressional Lobbies
Jun. 06, 1925  Trade Associations and the Law
Lobbying and Special Interests