The Work of Interest Groups - Reading Comprehension
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The Work of Interest Groups
By Phyllis Naegeli

1     Interest groups usually represent the cause of a minority. Because of this, they must work hard to gain support for their concern. This is done through lobbying, participating in the political system, using the courts, and influencing public opinion.
2     The term "lobbying" comes from a time in the early 1800s. When people wanted to speak with a member of Congress, they had to wait in the lobby of government buildings or meeting places. Here they could gain access to others within the government to discuss issues or policies of concern to them. Today, interest groups use their financial resources to hire professional lobbyists to speak for them. Some independent lobbyists may represent three or four separate smaller organizations. The independent lobbyist divides his or her time between the groups represented.
3     Lobbyists spend many hours working on their cause with congressional representatives, congressional staff, and government agencies. Their time is spent in public and private meetings, attending hearings, and providing important information on laws concerning their cause. This information helps government agencies to enact legislation passed by Congress.

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