The experience of the Government Relations practice group stretches across multiple policy issues and includes working with Congress and nearly all federal agencies on client matters involving public policy issues, regulations, funding, and political law. Examples of recent successful public policy efforts and the types of activities we engage in for our clients include:
Federal Funding Opportunities
- Assisted the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in its successful effort to obtain a grant of more than $102 million in federal stimulus funding under the US Commerce Department’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The project will address critical broadband needs in health care, higher education, public safety, and research in unserved, underserved, and economically distressed areas in Arkansas. It is the largest federal grant in the history of the state of Arkansas and the second largest stimulus grant from broadband stimulus funds in the nation. Arent Fox attorneys helped UAMS at every stage of the application process with respect to regulatory compliance and public policy issues, including helping form the statewide coalition that supported the application.
- Conducted numerous workshops and briefings for clients, including university administrations, hospital CEOs, and trade association executives with respect to federal funding opportunities under sources such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and programs administered by federal agencies ranging from the Appalachian Regional Commission to the Veterans Health Administration.
- Regularly assist associations and individual clients such as hospitals and universities in helping them develop and execute strategies to advocate for increased funding for priority programs or to forestall significant program funding reductions in the proposed federal budget or during the appropriations process. In 2011, issues included higher education/student aid, medical profession training, scientific and technological research, and medical device procurement, among others.
- 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.
- Assisted the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center museum in Ohio in securing enactment of authorizing legislation preserving funding for US Department of Education programs regarding the legacy of the Underground Railroad; also obtained federal appropriations for these critical programs.
- Assisted a nonprofit research foundation devoted to facilitating the development of early prostate cancer detection systems, including drafting and obtaining unanimous passage of a US House of Representatives Resolution calling for increased federal funding for prostate imaging research and advocating in support of the bipartisan PRIME Act, which would establish a new prostate detection and treatment initiative involving the National Institutes of Health (MH) and the US Department of Defense.
- In coordination with members of the Arent Fox Government Contractor services practice, assist clients in developing and implementing strategies to increase federal procurement of their products and services, including work with federal agencies and Members of Congress.
Federal Loan/Loan Guarantee Programs
- Advised a major publicly traded automotive supplier on developing 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.
- Advise US companies on strategies and best practices to obtain financing for export transactions and foreign investments through the US Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and other financial institutions.
- Assist the Society of Nuclear Medicine in implementing its comprehensive public policy advocacy strategy, including providing strategic guidance, lobbying support, and monitoring. We have successfully helped preserve funding for a US Department of Energy nuclear medicine research program, have advocated for passage of the CARE Act, which would require those who perform medical imaging and radiation therapy procedures to meet minimum federal education and credentialing standards, and have worked with the association on Affordable Care Act implementation.
- Working through the US Congress and with various government agencies, assisted an association in the wound care industry to resolve regulatory issues, intervene on Medicare coverage decisions, and support advocacy on matters regarding diabetes care.
- Working with the Work Colleges Consortium, a higher education trade association, on legislative and regulatory issues associated with the federal Work Study program, including preservation of US Department of Education appropriations for a unique college level program that combines work with liberal arts education.
Coalitions and Grassroots Advocacy
- Secured passage of and increased funding for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009, which provides over $2 billion in HIV/AIDS treatment and support services funding annually, 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 coordination with a public relations firm, the client’s board of directors, and countless individual CAEAR members.
- Served as lead lobbyists for the Committee to Restore Dealer Rights, a nationwide coalition of terminated General Motors and Chrysler dealers established by Montgomery County, Md., auto dealer Jack Fitzgerald (Fitzgerald Auto Malls), along with Tammy Darvish (Darcars) and Alan Spitzer (Spitzer Automotive). With substantial help from Members like Congressman Chris Van Hollen and then-Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, we secured hundreds of cosponsors for legislation that would help restore their dealerships. We ultimately helped our clients obtain unprecedented bipartisan legislation in December 2009 that established an arbitration process by which they could seek reinstatement and which resulted in the reinstatement of hundreds of dealers around the nation. We communicated on an almost daily basis with hundreds of auto dealers, helped prepare them for a major fly-in and Capitol press conference attended by the House Majority Leader, and worked on the media campaign, including guidance regarding the coalition’s website content. Arent Fox’s efforts on behalf of the Committee to Restore Dealer Rights was selected as one of the “Top 10 Lobbying Triumphs” of 2009 by The Hill, the highly respected Washington, DC, newspaper dedicated to covering the US Congress.
- Represent Americans Standing for the Simplification of Estate Tax (ASSET), a new tax coalition which is 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.
- For an NYSE-listed consumer products company, the Arent Fox government relations team collaborated with attorneys in the corporate and regulatory practice groups to develop and implement political and legislative strategies regarding a draft rule being considered by the Federal Trade Commission. The Arent Fox team also assisted the company in developing congressional support for its positions and in generating 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 of a Federal Communications Commission decision to impose substantial and accelerated licensing restrictions, saving our client, an international coalition of mining companies, millions of dollars.
- Working with a major pediatric-focused hospital in the eastern United States to advocate for legislation and policy that improve access to quality health care for children, in areas such as pediatric auto safety and state-of-the-art medical simulation.
- Advised hospitals on the implementation of the HITECH Act, legislation enacted as part of the economic stimulus law that created an incentive payment program to cover partially the costs of transitioning to electronic health records system.
- Managing a “best practices in purchasing” initiative for a health care coalition that is helping hospitals and health care practices provide more affordable services through management of their supply chain.
- Assist companies in the pharmaceutical industry and medical device manufacturers to resolve Medicare and Medicaid coverage issues, both through the legislative and regulatory processes.
- Assisting health care watchdog groups such as the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) with advocacy and awareness initiatives on a pro bono basis.
- Representing one of the largest regional medical centers in the South (the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), helping to secure federal funding, obtain previously denied Medicaid-enhanced physician payments, build a new cancer center, and fund a unique telemedicine program.
- Working to increase federal spending on Medicare Graduate Medical Education and Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education.
- Assisting a client in developing and implementing a congressional and Executive Branch strategy for obtaining beneficial modifications to federal clean energy tax incentives and reducing obstacles for increased utilization of such incentives.
- Representing Americans Standing for the Simplification of the Estate Tax (ASSET), a tax coalition dedicated to reforming and simplifying the estate tax.
- Helped a company stimulate additional production of wind power through tax legislation – ultimately enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
- Assist a client in advocating before Congress for extension of the New Markets Tax Credit.
- 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.
- Assist clients with an interest in expansion of clean energy tax incentives, including congressional and Executive Branch advocacy and coordination with trade associations and coalitions.
- Assisted with passage of legislation to ensure that retail energy providers receive equitable treatment with respect to alternative energy credits.
- Participating in town hall meetings and other forums on issues like Marcellus Shale that get citizens nonpartisan answers and sound science so they can make up their own minds about energy, environmental, and economic issues in their communities.
- Enlisting support of state and local regulatory bodies for a leading provider of transmission for the renewable energy industry.
- 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 funding for 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 Department of Education, National Science Foundation, Health Resources and Services Administration, US Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, and Department of Defense.
- Serve 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.
- Provided strategic guidance regarding the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2012.
- Assisted in obtaining authorization of and funding for the largest development in the District of Columbia, the new US Department of Homeland Security Headquarters in Ward 8.
- Worked on the process to select a location for the US Department of Justice in NoMA (North of Massachusetts Avenue) in Washington, DC.
- Worked on the process related to the location of the US Department of Health and Human Services in the Parklawn Building in Montgomery County, MD.
- Assisted a client on a project involving the location of the US Department of State at 19th Street, NW, Washington, DC.
- Represented clients advocating regarding the authorization of the new Department of Defense Joint Medical Command Headquarters in Northern Virginia.
- Assisted a client in negotiating extension of the Coast Guard lease at Buzzard Point.
- Assist a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in implementing its federal strategy, including building relationships with Congress and senior officials at Executive Branch agencies.
- Helped obtain language assisting minority investors in the legislation establishing the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2008.
- Passage of HR 3699, the historic “Federal and District of Columbia Government Real Property Act of 2005,” which transferred large parcels of land, including Poplar Point on the Anacostia River and Reservation 13 adjacent to RFK Stadium, from the federal government to the District government for development.
Congressional Investigations and Inquiries
- Successfully represented numerous individuals, corporations, and trade associations in Congressional inquiries/investigations before various Committees, including House Energy and Commerce, Senate Finance, Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and Senate Aging.