"At a news conference Monday, a fake group announced that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is switching sides to endorse climate change legislation. Chamber officials interrupted the meeting to expose the hoax.
But in an announcement that wasn't fake, the chamber -- truly one of the 800-pound gorillas of Washington lobbying -- disclosed that it spent $34.7 million last quarter to influence Congress and the administration.
The disclosure report, filed Monday in the Senate, shows a dramatic jump in the chamber's lobbying activity. The organization, which claims as members 300,000 companies across the spectrum of American business, spent $10 million in the first three months of 2009, and $7.4 million in the second quarter. "
Peter Overby reports for NPR October 20, 2009.