Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky
November 25, 2011
Religious groups have increasingly spent money over the past four decades on lobbying in Washington, DC, according to The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
In 1970, fewer than 40 secular groups lobbied Congress and the Executive Branch. Now, that number has ballooned to more than 200, with total lobbying expenditures by faith-based organizations approaching $400 million a year.
Nearly 20% of all religious advocacy is by Roman Catholics. Evangelicals account for 18%, Jews 12% and mainline Protestants 8%. Baha’is, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs also have lobbied in Washington, although in much smaller numbers.
By far the biggest lobbyist was the right-wing American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which spent $87.9 million in 2008. In second place was the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at $26.7 million in 2009. Third place went to another conservative group, the Family Research Council, with $14.3 million in 2008.