With Daniel Lippman
CHRIS CHRISTIE LOBBIED THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ON CORONAVIRUS RELIEF: Among the ranks of lobbyists advocating for coronavirus relief funds for their clients: former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn and I report. “Newly filed disclosures show Christie’s firm pulled in $240,000 in less than three months for lobbying the Trump administration on coronavirus aid on behalf of three New Jersey hospital systems and a Tennessee-based chain of addiction treatment centers.”
— “Christie appears to be leaning on his ties to the administration as he makes his way on K Street. In a pitch to consult for Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority earlier this year, Christie bragged that he had served as chairman of Donald Trump’s transition effort to staff the federal government — leaving out that he was ousted days after Trump unexpectedly won the 2016 election.”
— “Christie and his former chief of staff, Rich Bagger, lobbied the Department of Health and Human Services on coronavirus relief on behalf of the New Jersey hospitals,” which received hundreds of millions of dollars in coronavirus relief. “It’s not clear exactly what role Christie — who started lobbying for the hospitals on May 4, according to disclosure filings — played in helping them secure the funds. Reached by phone on Tuesday, Christie declined to comment and hung up.”
MANUFACTURERS FIGHT BACK AGAINST TRUMP’S DRUG PRICING MOVES: The National Association of Manufacturers is pushing back against President Donald Trump’s plan to sign executive orders today designed to limit prescription drugs prices. The trade group — which counts pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly and Pfizer among its members — is spending six figures to run an ad on cable in the Washington market and online decrying the efforts of “some in Washington” to tackle drug prices. “Price controls dictated by other countries are a hidden tax on manufacturers that harms innovation, competitiveness and R&D investments in new cures,” the ad’s narrator says.
— They’re not the only ones complaining. “White House aides spent much of Thursday fielding calls from drug company executives expressing frustration the administration is pushing the orders even as it pushes the industry
— including awarding companies billions of dollars — to develop and manufacture vaccines for covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, according to a senior administration official and a Republican lobbyist,” The Washington Post’s Yasmeen Abutaleb and Josh Dawsey report.
HOW A TECH-FUNDED THINK TANK INFLUENCES ANTITRUST REGULATORS: George Mason University’s “Global Antitrust Institute is bankrolled in large part by tech companies — corporate donors like Google, Amazon and Qualcomm — that are facing antitrust scrutiny from some of the regulators who attended its programs, according to hundreds of pages of emails and documents obtained through open records laws, interviews with four past conference participants, and observation of a conference last year in Huntington Beach,” The New York Times’ Daisuke Wakabayashi reports.
— “The documents included donation checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars from Google and Amazon, as well as a three-year, multimillion-dollar donation agreement from Qualcomm. Those checks were a key component of the institute’s $2.1 million budget in the year that ended in June 2019. The emails illustrated how the institute’s leaders, including Joshua Wright, who has longstanding ties to Google, have worked closely with tech companies to fend off antitrust criticism. And they showed how the institute cultivated and tapped relationships with top competition officials — even, in an aggressive courtship, asking Brazil’s top antitrust regulator to recruit the country’s judges to attend its conferences with offers of business-class flights.”
— “‘This is not a significant expenditure for these companies. And the potential benefits, even making it moderately less likely to be on the losing end of an ambitious antitrust case is worth that price many times over,’ said Michael Carrier, a professor at Rutgers University’s law school.”
MERCERS’ MONEY MIGHT NOT COME TO TRUMP’S AID: The Republican megadonor Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah Mercer, spent millions of dollars in 2016 to help elect President Donald Trump. But this time around, the Mercers’ political machine “is effectively idled,” Business Insider’s Dave Levinthal reports. And it’s unlikely the family will ignite it between now and Election Day, five people who know the media-averse Mercers told Insider. … A Republican Party official close to the Trump campaign, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record, said the Trump campaign was no longer expecting to receive Mercer family support, financial or otherwise. ‘The Mercer cavalry,’ the official predicted, ‘isn’t coming over the hill.’”
— “Said another associate of Rebekah Mercer: ‘They’re 100, 100, 100% out.’”
BLOCKBUSTER HEARING WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO WAIT: The House Judiciary Committee hearing at which Amazon‘s Jeff Bezos, Facebook‘s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple‘s Tim Cook and Google‘s Sundar Pichai are set on Monday to testify is likely to be postponed due to the announcement that the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) will lie in state in the Capitol, someone familiar with the matter told POLITICO’s Cristiano Lima. The hearing is being held by the committee’s antitrust subcommittee.
IF YOU MISSED IT ON THURSDAY: Tom Donohue, the chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has an op-ed in The New York Times decrying President Donald Trump’s recent restrictions on immigration, which he described as the “most restrictionist immigration policies in nearly a century.” The Chamber, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation and TechNet sued the Department of Homeland Security this week in an effort to block the restrictions.
— “If you want businesses to grow and the economy to rebound, you allow skilled workers to come here legally to work and contribute to the well-being of our nation; you don’t lock them out,” Donohue wrote. “If you want the next revolutionary start-up to be founded in America, you welcome foreign students; you don’t threaten to upend their lives and send them home during the middle of a pandemic. And if you want children to grow up to reach their potential and live their American dream, you give them the tools and certainty to succeed; you don’t kick them out of the only country they’ve ever known.”
— The National Congress of American Indians has hired Nathan Bergerbest as vice president of government relations. He was previously deputy chief of staff to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
— Lyft has hired Nicole Cooper as head of healthcare policy. She was previously UnitedHealth’s vice president of corporate social responsibility and before that worked in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration.
— “The Silicon Valley Leadership Group named investment banker Ahmad Thomas on Thursday to helm the advocacy operation representing some of the world’s biggest technology companies,” POLITICO’s Debra Kahn reports. “Thomas, who works as a director at Barclays Investment Bank, previously served as a business and economic adviser to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).”
Arballo Victory Fund (Arballo for Congress, California Democratic Party)
Hold the Line 2020 (Sens. Susan Collins, Steve Daines, Joni Ernst, Cory Gardner, Martha McSally and Thom Tillis, NRSC)
Mike Garcia Victory Fund (Rep. Mike Garcia, Get America Right: Community in Action – GARCIA PAC, NRCC)
Black Fire PAC (PAC)
MVP Justice Fund (Super PAC)
No Stone Unturned PAC (Super PAC)
Our Voice Our Vote Arizona PAC (Super PAC)
The Southern Strategy (Super PAC)
Together for Progress 2020 (Super PAC)
Trump Force Inc. (Super PAC)
Competition Advocates, LLC: Daikin U.S. Corporation
Gotham Government Relations: National Association of Bail Agents
Hogan Lovells US LLP: Espiritu Santo Holdings LP
McKinley Strategies, LLC: Aultman Health Foundation
McKinley Strategies, LLC: Danbury Senior Living
McKinley Strategies, LLC: Ohio Children’s Hospital Association
Prime Policy Group: BHP Billiton Petroleum Inc
Richard Shamlin: US-Africa Foundation
Alpine Group Partners, LLC.: Kavana Health AKA Kavana Partners
Alpine Group Partners, LLC.: Robokind
Capstone National Partners: Visual Arts Rights Coalition
Hannegan Landau Poersch & Rosenbaum Advocacy, LLC: Airline Service Providers Association
Hannegan Landau Poersch & Rosenbaum Advocacy, LLC: dnata US Inflight Catering LLC
Hannegan Landau Poersch & Rosenbaum Advocacy, LLC: DO & CO New York Catering, Inc.
Hannegan Landau Poersch & Rosenbaum Advocacy, LLC: gategroup
Hannegan Landau Poersch & Rosenbaum Advocacy, LLC: LSG Group
Hannegan Landau Poersch & Rosenbaum Advocacy, LLC: Prospect Airport Services, Inc.
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS): Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)
Subject Matter (fka Elmendorf Ryan): National Association of Broadcasters
The Macon Edwards Company: SNF Inc
Tuttle, Taylor & Heron: Western Growers Association