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Q: Support and opposition to Federal legislation ( No Answer,   2 Comments )
Subject: Support and opposition to Federal legislation
Category: Relationships and Society > Government
Asked by: bquery-ga
List Price: $80.00
Posted: 03 Aug 2006 14:47 PDT
Expires: 02 Sep 2006 14:47 PDT
Question ID: 752301
We would like to determine, for each bill introduced in the U.S. Congress,
the organizations and businesses that support and oppose that bill.
Ideally we would like to determine *all* the organizations and
industries that support and oppose each bill. If this information
cannot be determined, we'd like to obtain as complete a list as

My question is, how can we obtain this information? It is available
(or partially available) through any pay services (e.g. Lexis/Nexis or
CQ or other legislative tracking service)? Is it available through any
public-records sources, such as government source or public websites?
If this information is not available for all bills, is it available
for a subset of all bills?

The answer to this question will be in the form of, here are all the
sources that allow you to determine the organizations and businesses
supporting and opposing Federal legislation.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 10 Aug 2006 17:42 PDT

As someone who has worked on federal legislative issues for many years
-- both as a Capitol Hill insider, as well as from the outside -- I
can say confidently that the list you asked for simply doesn't exist. 
There are too many bills, too many issues, and too much work done
behind closed doors to make for the sort of complete list you're
looking for.

Your best bet for tracking who's who regarding lobbying efforts is to
identify a finite set of issues, and identify the primary sources of
information for those issues.  For instance, BNA's congressional theme
newsletters do a good job of reporting on who's supporting (or
opposing) what.

A broader view can be had from the the two main Capitol Hill
newspapers, Roll Call, and The Hill.

Perhaps if you can tell us a bit more about what, specifically, you
hope to accomplish with such a list, we can suggest alternative means
to get you to the desired result.

Let me know your thoughts on this.


Clarification of Question by bquery-ga on 11 Aug 2006 11:09 PDT
Here is some more information on our goals. We are a nonprofit seeking
to connect campaign contributions with legislative votes. We will then
publish this information in a public web-accessible database.

We already have data on campaign contributions to members of Congress,
with each contribution coded according to the industry making the
contribution. (We use a system of about 400 industry codes, such as
"Timber Companies" "Health Insurance Companies" "Environmental Policy"
and so on.)

We aim to combine this contribution data with each legislators vote on
each bill, to show relationships between donations and outcomes, when
they exist. To do this we need to categorize the supporters and
opponents for each bill, using the same set of industry codes used for
the campaign contribution data.

We have already completed this project for all 5,000 bils in the
California legislature for the 2003-2004 legislative session. In
California, legislative committee analyses include a list of groups
that support and oppose each bill. These are groups that have
registered their support or opposition by writing to the committee or
bill sponsor. This list is not comprehensive, but it is representative
of the interests supporting and opposing each bill. For example, here
are the registered supporters and opponents for a bill that would
limit clearcutting:


  Audubon California
  Defenders of Wildlife
  Environment California
  Planning and Conservation League
  Sierra Club California


  California Chamber of Commerce
  California Forestry Association
  Forest Products Industry National Labor Management Committee
  Simpson Resource Company

Using this list, we assigned the following industry codes to this bill:

Supporters: Environmental Policy

Opponents: Timber Companies; Chambers of Commerce

We want to do the same thing for Federal bills--assign industry codes
to the support and opposition for each bill. So, a 100% comprehensive
list of support and opposition groups is not necessary. However, we
need at least a representative list, even if it is not comprehensive,
or another way to determine the industries supporting and opposing
each bill.

It has been suggested to us that congressional hearing testimony is a
fruitful place to look for some of this information. We are looking
into this. However, we do not know if hearing testimony will be
comprehensive enough to determine both support and opposition. Also,
not all bills have hearings.

Your suggestions about BNA newsletters and those two newspapers are
appreciated. We are anticipating that we will need to look beyond one
single information source. That is why we want to find all the
possible information sources. We have research interns who can devote
substantial labor to this task, once we have a research system of
which sources to look at.

Please feel free to request additional clarification, and thank you
for your interest.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 11 Aug 2006 13:24 PDT
Sounds like you might need a subscription to Congressional Quarterly
(which, the name notwithstanding, is updated daily):

Scroll down the page to the Lobbies and Lobbying listing to get an
idea of their scope of coverage.

I don't have easy access to CQ myself, so I can't tell you just this
moment how in-depth their coverage is.

As I learn more, I'll keep you posted.


Clarification of Question by bquery-ga on 22 Aug 2006 18:04 PDT
Thank you for that suggestion.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Support and opposition to Federal legislation
From: neilzero-ga on 12 Aug 2006 19:02 PDT
It appears you will be peforming a helpful service to voters and
letter writers. I'm sure you are aware that many bills do several
unrelated things, especially when they have amendments of the coat
tail type. Therefor your service will be more useful if you tell the
advantages and disadvantages in considerable detail with a minimum of
bias. Perhaps you should only publish data when you believe it it
mostly complete and correct. Omiting a bill completely, is better than
a one sided presentation. There are likely too many bills in the mill
to analyze more than some samples. Several thousand words per day will
overwelm many potential readers. Neil
Subject: Re: Support and opposition to Federal legislation
From: bquery-ga on 22 Aug 2006 18:03 PDT
Thank you for those thoughts. We are interested in creating a
representative list of the organizations and industries supporting and
opposing each bill, summarizing the content of the bills themselves.

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