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Federal Advocacy

Congress. The Executive Branch. Independent agencies. We advocate for you.

The Arent Fox Government Relations practice provides a variety of advocacy services for our clients on the federal level. Our approach is multidisciplinary because we know the value of combining legislative and regulatory components to help our clients meet their objectives. Years of experience at the highest levels of federal government services, lobbying, and private sector work in the area of federal policy allow our lawyers and policy professionals to offer diversity of experience, views, and relationships within our own practice and maintain an active practice before key committees in the Senate and House, engaging in behind-the-scenes issue development as well as more direct advocacy before Congress and Executive Branch agencies. We also regularly work with attorneys in other Arent Fox practice groups to provide subject matter expertise and experience in devising tactical and strategic advice and execution. Because public policy advocacy must factor in all four quadrants of Congress in addition to an Executive Branch of one party of the other, we use our bipartisan nature to tailor narratives and develop strategies that can change daily depending on new developments in politics and society at large.

Advocacy Services

We provide a variety of specific services to our clients on the federal level:

  • Monitoring, analyzing, and reporting on legislative and regulatory developments using our wide network of government contacts and public sources.
  • Lobbying Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and administrative officials, both directly and indirectly, to achieve target policy objectives.
  • Identifying opportunities to participate in hearings, public policy briefings, policy events, and regulatory opportunities where our clients can provide expertise, including successfully suggesting topics for Congressional hearings and caucus briefings.
  • Drafting legislation, position papers, and testimony for Congressional hearings.
  • Preparing comments on proposed rules and regulations.
  • Preparing witnesses for hearings.
  • Testifying before Congress and regulatory agencies on clients’ behalf.
  • Representing clients in Congressional and Executive Branch investigations.
  • Assisting in the preparation of federal grant, loan, and loan guarantee applications.
  • Providing strategic advance to help our clients establish, target, and meet their goals for advocacy at the federal level.
  • Representing client interests at relevant legislative events.
  • Providing timely and relevant updates on opportunities and challenges in our clients’ industries.

Success Stories

The Government Relations practice group offers extensive experience working with Congress and nearly all federal agencies on client matters involving public policy issues, regulations, funding, and political law. Examples of our recent successful federal advocacy efforts include:

Trade Associations

  • Representing the American Association of Teaching Health Centers and its more than 50 community-based health care facilities, we led an informal coalition of stakeholder associations in 2016-2018 and helped secure enactment of a two-year reauthorization for a graduate medical education program as well as a doubling of the funding for this program that was created in the Affordable Care Act. Lobbying on this legislation involved negotiations with key Members of Congress, Energy and Commerce and HELP Committee staff, leadership staff, helping orchestrate several fly-ins by association members, negotiating with other stakeholder groups, prepping client for Congressional testimony, and helping direct social media efforts.
  • Representing the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) for over 30 years in both a legal capacity and in advocating for issues important to the automotive industry. Arent Fox advocates for positions on trade, highway funding, and motor vehicle safety legislation as well as privacy and data security.
  • Assisted a leading faith-based national charity in the development of its federal antipoverty agenda, hosted a national antipoverty conference at our firm, and supported their successful effort to preserve a federal community-based homeless assistance program in the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Represented the American Psychological Association in multiple congressional meetings – as well as facilitating meetings with senior Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials – to develop and implement a successful initiative to increase Medicare reimbursement for psychologists and neuropsychologists.
  • Worked with various government agencies and Congress to assist an association in the wound-care industry in resolving regulatory issues, intervening on Medicare coverage decisions, and supporting advocacy on matters regarding diabetes care.

Coalitions and Grassroots Advocacy

  • Secured one of the “Top 10 Lobbying Triumphs” of 2009 by The Hill for serving as lead lobbyists for the Committee to Restore Dealer Rights, a nationwide coalition of terminated General Motors and Chrysler dealers. We secured hundreds of cosponsors for legislation to help restore their dealerships, helped our clients obtain unprecedented bipartisan legislation that established an arbitration process by which they could seek reinstatement that ultimately resulted in the reinstatement of hundreds of dealers around the nation, helped prepare auto dealers for a major fly-in and Capitol press conference attended by the House Majority Leader, worked on a media campaign, and offered guidance about the coalition’s website content.
  • Managing a “best practices in purchasing” initiative for a health care coalition that helps hospitals and health care practices provide more affordable services by managing their supply chain.
  • Secured the passage of an increase in funding for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act, and annual appropriations of over $2 billion for HIV/AIDS treatment and support services, on behalf of Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief (CAEAR) Coalition, the largest HIV/AIDS coalition of metropolitan areas and community health clinics in the nation. This involved coordinating with a public relations firm, the client’s board of directors, and countless individual CAEAR members.
  • Representing Americans Standing for the Simplification of Estate Tax (ASSET), a tax coalition dedicated to reforming and simplifying the estate tax. We help the coalition generate new members, develop legislative proposals and supporting advocacy materials, and obtain meetings with key members of Congress, staff, and think tank experts.
  • Established a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit coalition to advocate on issues related to federal charitable tax deductions; hosted a substantive roundtable with a Ways and Means Committee member ; and engaged in multiple direct and social media communications with the Pennsylvania congressional delegation in support of a tax incentive tied to IRA withdrawals for charitable purposes.
  • Assisted the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a coalition of more than 200 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), with ongoing legislative monitoring, advocacy, and implementation of the annual association fly-in. Assisted in securing increased federal appropriations for the Treasury Department CDFI program, and helped obtain reauthorization of the Bond Guarantee Program in annual appropriations bills and renewal of New Markets Tax Credit. Also assisted in implementing strategy to ensure that the Bond Guarantee Program continued during Continuing Resolution notwithstanding expired authorization.

Health Policy

  • Assisted a variety of clients in developing and implementing strategies to advocate for preservation of Medicaid funding, particularly for children, in response to the threat of substantial proposed cuts to Medicaid in 2017.
  • Assisting companies in the pharmaceutical industry and medical device manufacturers to resolve Medicare and Medicaid coverage issues, both through the legislative and regulatory processes.
  • Helped a company and related medical societies secure a delay and renegotiation of a new Medicare Administrative Contractor-proposed Medicare reimbursement policy that would have decimated patient access to necessary medical procedures.
  • Convened a first-of-its-kind Capitol Hill Day for the Woodmark Foundation, a nonprofit hospital-oriented organization, that included speeches by multiple senators and congressmen as well as a series of advocacy meetings.
  • Helped two pediatric hospital clients secure enactment of a multi-year reauthorization bill for Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education, including establishing multiple contacts with bill sponsors and trade associations.
  • Assisting health care watchdog groups such as the Center for Health and Gender Equity with advocacy and awareness initiatives on a pro bono basis.
  • Assisted a client in securing committee report language for legislation reauthorizing autism programs in the jurisdiction of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
  • Collaborating with members of the Arent Fox Health Care and Litigation practice groups, helped preserve the viability of a medical device distribution company faced with an erroneous bureaucratic decision that revoked the company’s participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, putting more than 150 jobs in jeopardy. The strategy used the client’s Congressional delegation and Governor to press CMS to ensure expedited review of the reconsideration request. Within 11 days, CMS reported to the client that the contractor had agreed with the client’s regulatory filing and that there would be no disruption to the company’s sales or shipments to its customers, many of whom are part of an at-risk population that requires a stable supply of products from our client.
  • Assisted a medical device distributor in overcoming a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reimbursement policy decision that distorted the previously level playing field for three similar types of products and immediately halved the company’s sales. Through a coordinated effort with members of Congress who represent the company and support from the Congressional Vision Caucus leadership, Arent Fox obtained a rescission of the CMS reimbursement policy decision in the 2016 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) rule.

Tax Policy

  • Assisted a major alternative energy company in modifying and extending tax provisions that support their expansion into the domestic market.
  • Representing Americans Standing for the Simplification of the Estate Tax (ASSET), a tax coalition dedicated to reforming and simplifying the estate tax. We are helping the coalition generate new members, develop legislative proposals and supporting advocacy materials, and obtain meetings with key members of Congress, staff, and think tank experts.
  • Advocating for tax policy changes to benefit a whole range of institutions, including colleges, churches, commercial real estate developers, drug companies, and small businesses.
  • Advocating for the Homeland Reinvestment Act, which temporarily allowed international companies to repatriate foreign earnings to the United States without double taxation.
  • Obtained numerous tax incentives for local commercial and nonprofit development projects.
  • Won enactment of a $1 million annual tax abatement for a large trade association in exchange for bringing additional convention and tourist revenue to the District of Columbia.
  • Formulating policy and tax laws, Arent Fox eliminated double taxation in business partnership income tax laws in the District of Columbia.

Energy Policy

  • Assisting clients with an interest in expansion of clean energy tax incentives through congressional and Executive Branch advocacy and coordination with trade associations and coalitions.
  • Assisted with the passage of legislation ensuring that retail energy providers receive equitable treatment with respect to alternative energy credits.
  • Successfully advocated on behalf of a major national biofuels association, and separately on behalf of one of its largest members, for an extension of the existing biodiesel tax credit for two years; at the same time laying the groundwork for transitioning the tax incentive to a biodiesel producers credit.
  • During the 115th Congress (2017-2018), worked to ensure the protection of clean energy incentives and the inclusion of interest deduction, pass-through entity and other provisions important to energy clients in the landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
  • Enlisting support of state and local regulatory bodies for a leading provider of transmission for the renewable energy industry.

Education

  • Assisting the Work College Consortium (WCC), a consortium of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges which have an integrated work-learning-service curriculum, including successfully obtaining favorable tax treatment for student wages which offset the cost of tuition under a mandatory work requirement, inserting clarifying language exempting from the endowment tax Work Colleges which do not charge tuition.
  • For Tennessee Tech University, the State of Tennessee’s technology university, we worked with their Congressional delegation to help obtain several million dollars in appropriated capital grants for construction of a new School of Nursing and for construction of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Center, which will instruct teachers about new technologies and how to incorporate them in their lessons, and also will teach K-12 students from the region about those subjects in an interactive way. It is notable that as part of our creative approach, we obtained the STEM funding from a special NASA account for space science education.
  • Worked with state government clients to preserve and increase funding for health and education programs.
  • Monitored and advocated on a wide range of higher education policy issues, including Pell Grants.
  • Routinely bring college and university clients to meet with senior federal agency officials to discuss policy and programs, including officials from the Department of Education, National Science Foundation, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, and Department of Defense.

Regulatory Issues

  • Collaborating with attorneys in the Arent Fox Corporate and Regulatory practice groups to develop and implement political and legislative strategies for a NYSE-listed consumer products company regarding a draft rule being considered by the Federal Trade Commission. The Arent Fox team also assisted the company in generating congressional support for its positions and prompting congressional action on this issue, including obtaining an opportunity for a corporate official to testify before the House Small Business Committee.
  • Obtained a seven-year deferral on a Federal Communications Commission decision to impose substantial and accelerated licensing restrictions, saving our client, an international coalition of mining companies, millions of dollars.

Federal Funding Opportunities: Competitive Grants, Program Funding, Contracts, and Federal Loan/Loan Guarantee Programs

  • Helping associations and individual clients such as hospitals and universities develop and execute strategies to advocate for increased funding for priority programs (higher education/student aid, medical profession training, scientific and technological research, medical device procurement, etc.) and to forestall significant reductions in program funding in the proposed federal budget and during the appropriations process.
  • Facilitated site visits by Executive Branch officials and members of Congress to clients’ places of business in order to help raise awareness of the benefits of various federal funding programs.
  • Helped a nonprofit research foundation devoted to facilitating the development of early prostate cancer detection systems draft and obtain unanimous passage of a U.S. House of Representatives Resolution calling for increased federal funding for prostate imaging research, and advocated in support of the bipartisan PRIME Act, which would establish a new prostate detection and treatment initiative involving the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Defense.
  • Advised a major, publicly traded automotive supplier on its successful application for a multimillion dollar conditional loan commitment from the US Department of Energy to develop fuel-efficient components for alternative fuel vehicles using funds from the Alternative Technology Vehicle Loan Program.
  • Advising US companies on strategies and best practices for obtaining financing for export transactions and foreign investments through the U.S. Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and other financial institutions.

Transportation

  • Assisted in securing significant funding line items for Florida light rail project in FY15 Department of Transportation Budget and appropriations bill, including advocacy before senior Executive Branch officials and Congress.
  • Serving as primary Washington counsel in support of a regional passenger rail project in Pennsylvania, including helping obtain nearly $20 million in appropriations over several years for engineering and design work, advising on issues before the Federal Transit Administration, and working on legislation authorizing the final construction phase.
  • Advised major U.S. airline on policy issues related to Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization legislation.

Public Buildings

  • Assisted in obtaining authorization of and funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Headquarters in Washington, DC.
  • Advised on the process to select a location for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC.
  • Worked on the location of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Montgomery County, MD.
  • Assisted clients on a project involving the location of the U.S. Department of State at 19th Street, NW in Washington, DC.
  • Advocated for clients on the authorization of the new Department of Defense Joint Medical Command Headquarters in Northern Virginia.
  • Assisted a client in negotiating an extension of the Coast Guard Headquarters lease in Washington DC.

Congressional Investigations and Inquiries

  • Successfully represented numerous individuals, corporations, and trade associations in congressional inquiries and investigations before various committees, including House Energy and Commerce, Senate Finance, Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Senate Aging.

Key Contacts