Governor Stephen Roe Lewis of the Gila River Indian Community. Photo: Gage Skidmore
Politics

Gila River Indian Community ranks third in top lobbying contracts in DC



The Gila River Indian Community continues to spend big in the nation's capital, ranking third in a list of top lobbying contracts.

For the first quarter of 2018, the Arizona-based tribe signed a contract worth $670,000, POLITICO reported. It was the only tribal contract in the top 10.

The contract was with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. The firm saw $10 million in lobbying revenues in the first quarter of 2018, POLITICO reported, making it the top firm in Washington, D.C.

The tribe has long been known for its lobbying expenditures. In 2016, in fact, Gila River had the largest single contract for the first quarter of 2016. That year, the tribe spent over $2.5 million on Akin Gump, Open Secrets reported, representing the firm's biggest contract.

Still, the tribe's expenditures pale in comparison to entities outside Indian Country. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for example, paid lobbyists $15.4 million in the first quarter, making it the the largest spender. All of the others in the top 20 spent well over $3 million, far higher than the tribe's contract.


According to a filing with the Senate Office of Public Records, the tribe hired 14 lobbyists to engage with members of Congress and the Trump administration on a wide variety of issues, ranging from health care to gaming.

"Congressional appropriations for irrigation project (BOR), health care facilities construction (IHS) and tribal programs (BIA); monitoring for legislation affecting Native American tribes; tribal tax exempt bonding authority; arbitration legislation; lease review authority legislation; drought issues affecting the Colorado River; land purchase valuation legislation; law enforcement issues; trust claim settlement agreement and legislation; restrictions on off-reservation gaming; environmental restrictions on Navajo Generation station; off-reservation gaming generally; H.R. 4032; funding for commercial lease for BIE schools; reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians," reads the lengthy list of tasks for the lobbying team.

To find out how much a particular tribe or entity spends on lobbying, visit the Senate Office of Public Records and search on "Client Name."

Read More on the Story:
Akin Gump tops list for first-quarter revenue (POLITICO April 23, 2018)