‘With Democrats, You Really Have To Hone Your Arguments’

k-street.jpg  Roll Call reported this week that Republican lobbyists aren't sure how to get anything done in a Democratic Congress.

Several Democratic and Republican lobbyists agreed GOP consultants often get it wrong with Democrats because their corporate pitch is such an easy sell in Republican offices, which already are ideologically sympathetic to businesses’ concerns.

Meeting with Democrats, some Republicans neglect to factor in a much wider array of constituencies that hold sway with the new majority, including labor, environmental and consumer groups.

“Republican lobbyists are used to walking into an office and just saying, ‘I’d like you to do this,’” said one Republican operative who regularly lobbies across the aisle. “With Democrats, you really have to hone your arguments, and you really have to sell them on policy.” (emphasis added)

In Tom DeLay’s Congress, corporate lobbyists had it easy. Their clients had a wish list, and the GOP majority was anxious to deliver. Now these lobbyists are finding that when they ask the Democratic majority to do something, those darned liberals want reasons. They ask pesky questions, such as, “Why?”

No matter how frustrated we may get with congressional Dems, it’s worth remembering that when it comes to running Congress, there is a difference between a Democratic majority and a Republican one.


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