McDonald's Corp. spent $460,000 lobbying the federal government in the third quarter, on issues including immigration, menu labeling and debit card fees.
That amount represented a 48 percent increase from the same period a year ago, when it spent $310,000 on federal lobbying costs, according to disclosure reports filed with the House of Representatives. It was also up from the second quarter, when it spent $370,000.
The world's biggest burger chain lobbied Congress, the White House, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services on the sweeping health care changes that were signed into law in March 2010. In general the new health care rules will require more companies to offer health care insurance to employees. McDonald's also homed in on a part in the law that would require more restaurants to add calorie information to their menus.
McDonald's also said it lobbied on proposed new federal guidelines that would curb marketing junk food to children. It also lobbied on a new law that gives the Food and Drug Administration more authority over food suppliers.
McDonald's lobbied on immigration issues such as E-Verify, a federal program that lets businesses check federal databases online to help determine if employees are eligible to work in the U.S. The National Restaurant Association has said it could support a mandatory E-Verify system, but only if it's efficient and cost-effective for businesses.
The company lobbied on fees that restaurants and other retailers pay banks and other processors whenever a customer uses a debit card. The government capped those fees as part of the new Dodd-Frank banking laws. Banks protested that decision, saying they deserve to be paid for the debit-card services they supply. Restaurants and other retailers generally supported the caps, although they wanted to pay less to the banks.
McDonald's lobbied on a bill called the Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act, which would get rid of part of the Dodd-Frank banking law that requires public companies to disclose the ratio of the CEO's pay to the median pay of other employees in his or her company.
It also lobbied on a bill called the Lincoln Legacy Infrastructure Development Act, which would encourage private companies to help build new roads, airports, railroads and other transportation infrastructure. McDonald's focused on a part of the bill concerning the sale of food and drinks at highway rest areas.
McDonald's lobbied on proposed changes to corporate, individual and international taxes as well.