If anyone wonders why the votes taken by Congress turn out the way they do, this excellent work by Open Secrets gives us all the info we need. If you have a few moments of leisure on a Saturday, here is the place to go:
In addition to campaign contributions to elected officials and candidates, companies, labor unions, and other organizations spend billions of dollars each year to lobby Congress and federal agencies. Some special interests retain lobbying firms, many of them located along Washington’s legendary K Street; others have lobbyists working in-house. They have got totals spent on lobbying, beginning in 1998, for everyone from AAI Corp. to Zurich Financial.
You can use the options on the website to search through their database in several ways: search by name for a company, lobbying firm or individual lobbyist; search for the total spending by a particular industry; view the interests that lobbied a particular government agency; or search for lobbying on a general issue or specific piece of legislation.
Information over here at Open Secrets