"...lobbyists have spent nearly $13 billion since 1998 to influence members of Congress and federal officials on legislation and regulations."
Roberta Baskin, the Center's executive director, said: "Our report reveals that each year since 1998 the amount spent to influence federal lawmakers is double the amount of money spent to elect them."
In relation to the Middle East, as a renowned correspondent told me recently, "if you're a congressman, and you become a harsh critic of Israel, the chances are you won't get re-elected again", such is the power of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington. Funds will be directed to your opponent and charges of anti-Semitism will follow.
(Thanks to PR Watch for the tip.)