"U.S. corporations and interest groups spent a total of $1.16 billion to lobby Washington in the first half of 2005, setting a record." From January through June 2005, "corporations, trade associations, lawyers and unions spent about $6.5 million a day to lobby Congress and the Bush administration." Since 1999, lobbying spending has increased an average of 10 percent each year. But the first half of 2005 alone saw an eight percent increase over the previous six months. Top lobbyists were AARP ($27.8 million, "mainly to defeat the Social Security plan"), General Electric ($13.9 million, on the "asbestos-litigation overhaul and tax policy"), the United States Telecom Association ($11.4 million), U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($8.6 million, plus another $9.5 million through its Institute for Legal Reform), American Medical Association ($9.5 million), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. ($7.3 million) and Altria ($6.7 million).
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