With David Beavers and Daniel Lippman
FACEBOOK HIRES DAVE LUGAR: Facebook has added Dave Lugar of the Lugar Hellmann Group to its substantial roster of outside lobbying firms as the company deals with criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike. Lugar will lobby on “online advertising, content and platform transparency efforts,” according to a disclosure filing. Lugar is the first outside lobbyist Facebook has hired this year.
— Facebook spent nearly $17 million on Washington lobbying last year — more than any other single company, according to a PI analysis of disclosure filings — and its spending rose still higher in the first quarter of this year. The company retains more than 20 other lobbying firms, according to disclosure filings, including BakerHostetler; Blue Mountain Strategies; Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner; Capitol Tax Partners; Elevate Government Affairs; FS Vector; Harbinger Strategies; Ice Miller Strategies; Hollier & Associates; Mason Street Consulting; the OB-C Group; Off Hill Strategies; Ogilvy Government Relations; Peck Madigan Jones; Salt Point Strategies; Steptoe & Johnson; the Sternhell Group; Stewart Strategies & Solutions; Subject Matter; TeleMedia Policy Corp.; and theGROUP.
FLYING IN (VIRTUALLY): The Brewers Association is holding a virtual fly-in this week to ask for coronavirus relief and to push lawmakers to pass legislation that would deliver long-sought tax changes for the industry. Brewers plan to speak with Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.), according to the trade group.
CHARITIES ASK FOR MORE CORONAVIRUS RELIEF: Thousands of nonprofits urged lawmakers this morning to help charities in the next coronavirus relief bill. Nonprofits “still face significant challenges,” the groups wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “As we continue to provide relief and begin the process of reopening, these challenges will only grow.” Among the asks: allocate money for a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans, make loans available to nonprofits with more than 500 employees that don’t qualify for small business loans and beef up charitable tax breaks.
STATE DEPARTMENT OVERTURNS SUPPRESSOR SALES BAN AFTER WHITE HOUSE LAWYER PUSHED TO DO SO: “Michael B. Williams spent nearly two years helping to run a trade group focused on expanding sales of firearm silencers by American manufacturers,” The New York Times’ Michael LaForgia and Ken Vogel report. “But try as he might, he could not achieve one of the industry’s main goals: overturning a ban on sales to private foreign buyers enacted by the State Department to protect American troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Then Mr. Williams joined the Trump administration.”
— “As a White House lawyer, he pushed to overturn the prohibition, raising the issue with influential administration officials and creating pressure within the State Department, according to current and former government officials. On Friday, the State Department lifted the ban, and a longtime industry goal was realized. The change paved the way for as much as $250 million a year in possible new overseas sales for companies that Mr. Williams had championed as general counsel of the American Suppressor Association. … ‘This is another win for the firearm and suppressor manufacturers by the Trump administration,’ said Lawrence G. Keane, general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, in a statement after the ban was lifted Friday.”
TECH GIANTS JOINS AMICUS BRIEF PUSHING BACK ON RESTRICTIONS ON FOREIGN STUDENTS: “Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other tech companies are joining the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to push back on the Trump administration’s bid to bar foreign students from staying in the U.S. if their colleges are only offering online classes in the fall,” Axios‘ Ashley Gold reports. The Chamber “is leading a brief in federal court, filed Monday morning, in support of Harvard and MIT, which sued the Department of Homeland Security last week.”
— “Salesforce and Spotify are among the other companies on the amicus brief, which asks a federal judge in Boston to block the administration from enforcing or slowing implementation of guidance from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would bar people in the U.S. on student visas from taking a full course load online.”
SIX BANKING DISCRIMINATION INVESTIGATIONS HAVE GONE NOWHERE: “Since President Donald Trump took office, the [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] has quietly shelved at least six investigations of discrimination and redlining, according to internal agency documents and eight people familiar with the cases,” Patrick Rucker reports for ProPublica and the Capitol Forum. “Flagstar Bank, a leading lender in Michigan, wrongly charged Black homeowners more through a network of mortgage lending affiliates, OCC officials concluded in 2017. That same year, agency examiners found that Colorado Federal Bank, an online lender, was doing the same to female borrowers.
— “Another inquiry by OCC officials concluded that Chicago-based MB Financial, a lender acquired by Fifth Third Bank last year, charged Latinos too much on mortgage loans. Cadence Bank, a lender in several Southern states, was turning away minority borrowers in Houston, according to an OCC investigation. Fulton Bank, a lender based in Pennsylvania, had been discriminating against minorities in parts of Richmond, Virginia, and its home state, regulators concluded. Despite “staff recommendations that fines or other penalties be imposed, the OCC took no public action” in any of the investigations, including a sixth case involving Bank of America. The cases were closed.
IF YOU MISSED IT ON FRIDAY: Republicans have tapped Jeff Miller of Miller Strategies “as they race to lock down money for their convention — a task that’s been complicated by a tight timetable and growing concerns about holding a large-scale event during the pandemic,” POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt reports. Miller, who’s built a successful lobbying business since President Donald Trump took office representing companies such as Apple, Amazon and Pfizer, “will serve as national finance chair for the late-August convention in Jacksonville, Fla., according to three people familiar with the appointment.” Brian Ballard of Ballard Partners, who’s one of the convention’s co-chairmen, is also raising money.
— Joe Lockhart, President Bill Clinton‘s onetime White House press secretary, is joining Rational 360 as a partner. The strategic communications shop is buying Lockhart’s firm, Strategic Heights LLC.
— Glen Kedzie of the American Trucking Associations is joining the Consumer Energy Alliance’s board of directors. He’ll succeed John Heimlich of Airlines for America, who is term-limited.
Democratic Senate Problem Solvers Fund (Sens. Joe Manchin, Jacky Rosen, Kyrsten Sinema and Angus King, No Labels Problem Solvers Political Action Committee (No Labels Problem Solvers PAC))
Georgia Senate Victory Fund (Jon Ossoff for Senate, Warnock for Georgia)
Iowa Frontline Women (Reps. Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne, Rita Hart for Iowa)
American Aristocrats (Super PAC)
CHAMP PAC (Super PAC)
Land of the Free Committee (Hybrid PAC)
Maui’d Green Future Project (Super PAC)
VozKC (Hybrid PAC)
Health Policy Source, Inc.: Allied Physicians Group
Health Policy Source, Inc.: American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
Health Policy Source, Inc.: DuPage Medical Group
Lugar Hellmann Group: Facebook, Inc.
Miller & Chevalier, Chtd.: Semiconductor Industry Association
Nixon Peabody LLP: Yeshiva Gedolah – Zichron Moshe
Stonington Global: Nostrum Pharmaceuticals LLC
Strategic Marketing Innovations: Cal Poly Corporation
Thomas Kahn: Cormac Group on behalf of Bell Legal Group
Anderson & Associates, PC: Anderson & Associates, PC
Baker & Hostetler LLP: Integra LifeSciences Corp.
Baker & Hostetler LLP: Strongbridge Biopharma, PLC
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP: MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation
Continental Consulting Group Corporation: Air Comm Corporation
Holland & Knight LLP: Comcast Corporation
King & Spalding LLP: Altavian, Inc.
Miller & Chevalier, Chtd.: The Oneida Group, Inc.
Mr. Gaylord Hughey: Ash Grove A CRH Company (Formerly Known As Ash Grove Cement Company)
Murray, Montgomery & O’Donnell: City of Rio Rancho
MWR Consulting: Karges-Faulconbridge, Inc.
Republic Consulting, LLC: CFA Institute Republic Consulting, LLC: Deplhi [sic] Technologies
Republic Consulting, LLC: Finicity
Republic Consulting, LLC: National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders
Robertson, Monagle, & Eastaugh PC (formelry [sic] known at Hoffman, Silver, Gilman and: Garden State Seafood Assn
Robertson, Monagle, & Eastaugh PC (formelry [sic] known at Hoffman, Silver, Gilman and: Southeastern Fisheries Association, Inc.
Rowland Strategy Group LLC: Comcast Corporation
Squire Patton Boggs: MaxLinear
The Estell Group LLC: National Hispanic Medical Association