Lawmakers Use Statements Written by Lobbyists, Is Congress Just Lazy?

The New York Times found that more than a dozen members of Congress used almost indistinguishable talking points on health care reform ghostwritten by lobbyists. Lobbyists representing a biotech firm drafted separate language for Democrats and for Republicans. "The lobbyists, employed by Genentech and by two Washington law firms, were remarkably successful in getting the statements printed in the Congressional Record under the names of different members of Congress."

"Members of Congress submit statements for publication in the Congressional Record all the time, often with a decorous request to 'revise and extend my remarks.' It is unusual for so many revisions and extensions to match up word for word. It is even more unusual to find clear evidence that the statements originated with lobbyists."

This is particularly alarming considering the historical and precise role of the official Congressional Record. As a follow up, an editorial in the New York Times states; "It is disturbing that the industry was able to so easily shape the official record to its liking. It is even more disturbing that so many members of Congress were willing to parrot the industry talking points."

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