Drobac Quoted on State of Beer Lobby amidst Government Shutdown

January 24, 2019

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In a Jan. 18 article for The Hill, McGuireWoods Consulting senior advisor, Michael Drobac, spoke on tactics taken by industry lobbyists to advocate for their clients as the government shutdown continues.

Alcohol and tobacco companies have been unable to get labels for their products approved by the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau due to the shutdown. This lack of approval means that many of these companies are unable to sell seasonal beers and other products.

Lobbyists are exploring temporary workarounds in order to help their clients and make up for lost time when the government does reopen.

“People who had contacts and ongoing relationships with the administration are remaining in contact. While these people are not formally working, they are still responding that these are priority items they are working through and when they’re back, they will jump right on it,” Drobac said.

As breweries and other companies remain at a standstill, lobbyist say they are doing as much as they can for their clients.

“A lot of people are telling their clients, ‘hey, we’ve been in contact but they’re simply not working,’ ” Drobac said. “[Treasury aides] are saying, ‘we’re at home and we’re not working but we’re thinking through our strategies.’ There’s clearly a willingness with members of the administration to want to work.”