Coronavirus lobbying moving at a breakneck pace

Gun Rights

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With David Beavers and Daniel Lippman

ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE: Here’s an indication of how fast the lobbying on coronavirus relief measures is moving: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Congress this morning urging them to shore up the $349 billion loan program run by the Small Business Administration — as well as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program run by the agency. “We urge you to reassure small businesses that Congress will quickly increase funding for these programs should they approach their limits,” Neil Bradley, the Chamber’s chief policy officer, wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

— Within hours, POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Heather Caygle reported Congress could take action within days: McConnell said today he’s working with Schumer to direct more money to the Small Business Administration program. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee, “estimated the program needs $200-$250 billion and McConnell said he intends to pass new relief as soon as Thursday without a roll call vote.” “It is quickly becoming clear that Congress will need to provide more funding or this crucial program may run dry,” McConnell said. “That cannot happen.”

ANNALS OF TIGER LOBBYING: There’s a K Street connection to the popular Netflix show “Tiger King.” Carole Baskin, the owner of Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary for rescued bobcats, lions, tigers, panthers, leopards and other big cats, who features prominently in the show, has retained Jason Osborne of Turnberry Solutions since 2013. (Corey Lewandowski is affiliated with the firm, but Osborne has said he doesn’t work for Big Cat Rescue.) Osborne has pushed a bill called the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would ban private ownership and breeding of big cats except for universities, zoos and sanctuaries.

— Osborne, who worked on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, told POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman that he met Baskin in 2012 while working for the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. He was interviewed by the Netflix filmmakers but does not appear in the show. Osborne, a former lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, has made the case for banning private ownership of tigers by arguing that they’re more dangerous than guns. “If you put a gun on a table and a tiger on a table and you sit back, which one is going to hurt you first without doing anything?” he said. “The premise behind it is it’s a huge public safety risk and it’s a hodgepodge of state and federal laws governing it.”

Good afternoon, and welcome to PI. What provisions are you working to get included in the next coronavirus relief bill? Let me know: [email protected]. Twitter: @theodoricmeyer.

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TRUMP REMOVES INSPECTOR GENERAL LEADING CORONAVIRUS OVERSIGHT: “President Donald Trump has upended the panel of federal watchdogs overseeing his implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus law, tapping a replacement for the Pentagon official who was supposed to lead the effort,” POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney and Connor O’Brien report. “A panel of inspectors general had named Glenn Fine — the acting Pentagon watchdog — to lead the group charged with monitoring the coronavirus relief effort. But Trump on Monday removed Fine from his post, instead naming an [Environmental Protection Agency] inspector general to serve as the temporary Pentagon watchdog.”

— “That decision effectively removed Fine from his role overseeing the coronavirus relief effort, since the new law permits only current inspectors general to fill the position. ‘Mr. Fine is no longer on the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee,’ Dwrena Allen, a spokesperson for the Pentagon inspector general’s office, said in a statement to POLITICO.”

ANOTHER UNUSUAL STOCK TRADE: Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) “sold off almost $47,000 dollars worth of shares in a small Dutch fertilizer company in 2018, just weeks before its stock began a sharp 40% collapse,” ProPublica’s Robert Faturechi reports. “Beginning on Sept. 5, 2018, Burr and his wife sold off their stake in the company, OCI, in three days when its shares were priced near their highest point in the last four years. A month later, the company, which is not traded on a U.S. stock exchange, began to falter, completing its dramatic fall after news that the company failed to meet quarterly earnings expectations.”

NONPROFITS LOBBYING TO LET FOOD STAMP RECIPIENTS TO SHOP ONLINE: “Nearly six years after Congress authorized a program to test online food purchases, only six states have taken the steps to allow [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] recipients to use benefits to purchase food online — and from only a limited number of approved national retailers,” POLITICO’s Liz Crampton reports. “Now, nonprofit groups are lobbying Congress and the Agriculture Department to relax rules and encourage a rapid expansion of online ordering of food. … ‘As we look at all of the different efforts across the United States to make sure low-income families are being fed, it becomes clear to me that SNAP is absolutely the first responder,’ said Lisa Davis, senior vice president of No Kid Hungry.”

HOW TO HELP THE STAFFS OF CHARLIE PALMER, BISTRO BIS, MARTIN’S TAVERN: Here are a few more fundraisers for restaurants that draw K Street types: A GoFundMe set up to raise money for the staff of Charlie Palmer, a popular spot for fundraisers due its location near the Capitol, had raised more than $32,000. Among those raising money for it: Justin Davey of Davey Consulting, who’s held fundraisers for clients at the restaurant. There are also fundraisers to benefit Bistro Bis and Martin’s Tavern.

IF YOU MISSED IT ON MONDAY: The Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig, Jonathan O’Connell and Michelle Ye Hee Lee have unearthed new details about private equity’s efforts to shape the federal government’s coronavirus response. A partner at Apollo Global Management, a New York private equity firm that has loaned millions of dollars to Jared Kushner’s family real estate company, “sent a personal email to Kushner suggesting steps the administration should take to ensure loans are available to firms with a wide range of risk, according to two people briefed on the correspondence, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private communication. Such a move could benefit some private equity firms, as well as other investors that hold debts such as mortgages and commercial real estate loans.”

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Jobs Report

— The XR Association, a trade group representing headset and technology manufacturers including Facebook and Google, has hired Laura Chadwick as senior director of industry relations, POLITICO’s Morning Tech reports. She previously was a director of engagement, strategy and communications at the National Restaurant Association.

New Joint Fundraisers


New PACs

Blue Senate PAC (Leadership PAC: Sen. Jeff Merkley)
Concerned Citizens of Michigan (Super PAC)
Defeat Disinfo PAC (Super PAC)

New Lobbying Registrations

AGM Consulting Services, Inc.: Willbrook Solutions Inc.
Alpine Group Partners, LLC.: Sabre Corporation
Anway Long Group: Alliance Community Health Plans
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP: American Counseling Association
Atlas Advocacy: Ontario International Airport Authority
Ballard Partners: Association of Dental Support Organizations
Ballard Partners: Tampa General Hospital
Capitol Counsel, LLC: Shopify
Carmen Group Incorporated: Dunham’s Athleisure Corporation
Chamber Hill Strategies: Frequency Therapeutics Inc.
Clark Hill, PLC: Vari Sales Corporation
Dutko Worldwide, LLC: Advanced Mobile Solutions
Hawley LLC: Clark Street Associates LLC on behalf of Qorvo
Ice Miller Strategies LLC: BSA, The Software Alliance
Jones Walker, LLP: Ready Responders
Liberty Partners Group, LLC: Nephrology Associates, P.A. (DVAC REF)
McGuireWoods Consulting (A Subsidiary of McGuireWoods LLP): MM-Law LLC (on behalf of certain American Veterans & Gold Star Families)
McGuireWoods Consulting (A Subsidiary of McGuireWoods LLP): Mortgage Research Center, LLC
Peck Madigan Jones: C2FO
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.: Informal 90-day duty deferral coalition
Squire Patton Boggs: La Maestra Family Clinic, Inc.
Stephanie A. Burgess Inc: Venture Global on behalf of The Partnership for Safe Medicines
Steptoe & Johnson LLP: HackerOne
The Tolman Group: The Aleph Institute
The Vogel Group: Corizon Health
Van Scoyoc Associates: B.E. Meyers & Co., Inc.
Velocity Government Relations, LLC: Ad Astra Rocket Company
Williams and Jensen, PLLC: J.A. Apparel Corp.

New Lobbying Terminations

American Capitol Group: Ampex
American Capitol Group: HeartFlow
American Continental Group: LaunchCode
American Continental Group: TerreStar Corporation
American Continental Group: YouthBuild USA, Inc.
Ballard Partners: Safe Harbor Technologies, LLC
G S Proctor and Associates, Inc: Shelby County Government
Mr. James C. Barker: University of Utah–ARUP Laboratories
Squire Patton Boggs: Adak Eagle Enterprises LLC
Squire Patton Boggs: Extraction Oil and Gas
Squire Patton Boggs: Venafi, Inc.
The Smith-Free Group, LLC: Citizens Financial Group Inc
The Ingram Group LLC: Ryman Hospitality Properties
The Spectrum Group: Circassia Pharmaceuticals
The Timken Company: Timken Company
Thompson Hine LLP: Geo Specialty Chemicals Inc

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