Report | Future Cities

Mid Atlantic Research Reflections 2023 Government Affairs

November 29, 2023 10 Minute Read

Looking for a PDF of this content?

Washington, D.C. is the epicenter of lobbying activity, with its high concentration of law firms, trade associations, government affairs offices and public relations firms. Federal lobbying is a $4 billion industry in the U.S., as businesses and interest groups work to influence policymakers on budgetary and regulatory priorities. Lobbying spending has steadily increased in recent years, up 28% since 2016. Through September 2023, lobbying spending is $3.13 billion, which is on pace to exceed 2022 levels based on historic fourth quarter activity.

Aside from traditional lobbying powerhouses such as health care, energy and finance, the technology sector has emerged in recent years as a key player due to the increasing pressure from regulation and legislation. Several top tech firms spent a combined $54 million on lobbying activity in 2022, up 26% over a five-year span. During the same period, the collective office footprint of those firms increased by 450,000 sq. ft. in Washington, D.C.

Despite record-high vacancy rates and occupancy loss across the D.C. office market, government affairs tenants from all different industries have been a source of net growth in recent years.