5. K Street haircuts
Some of Washington's top lobbyists have had to cut their fees as clients struggle through the downturn, Axios' Hans Nichols reports.
- "We happily took haircuts in the hopes that our clients would get through this," said Sam Geduldig, a partner at CGCN Group.
What to watch: While some clients are asking for a reduction in monthly retainer fees, new customers are flocking to K Street with the expectation Congress will pass another big-ticket relief package this summer.
- Lobbyists are playing a mix of offense and defense. In addition to fighting for their share of the billions in bailouts, some industries are looking for retroactive liability shields.
- Companies also want protections from future lawsuits, as the country starts to reopen in an uncertain world.
What we’re hearing: Among the hardest hit industries are oil and gas, airlines, tourism, hospitality, hospitals and health care.
- The banking and financial services industry appears to be weathering the storm.
- But many trade associations are funded by formula, with member companies pledging a percentage of revenue. In recessions, they cut.
Between the lines: Some contract lobbyists, in a show of solidarity, are volunteering to cut retainer fees.
- The true size of the haircuts won’t be known until Q2 lobbying disclosures are filed in mid-July.
- New clients will also show up on those forms.
The bottom line: Most hired guns expect the real slowdown to start in Q3 or Q4.