A New York shipping business owned by the family of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, the wife of the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, received at least $350,000, according to the data. A person familiar with the company, Foremost Group, said that the loan was for less than $500,000 and that no employees had been laid off during the pandemic. Ms. Chao has no formal affiliation or stake in the business, but she and Mr. McConnell have received millions of dollars in gifts from her father, James, who ran the company until 2018.
Many of the biggest and most influential lobbying and political consulting firms received money — despite prohibitions intended to restrict access — most likely qualifying by highlighting lines of business that fell outside the restrictions.
Wiley Rein, which has a large lobbying practice focusing on trade issues, received between $5 million and $10 million, according to the data. Van Ness Feldman and Beveridge & Diamond, two law firms that focus on helping energy industry clients push their agendas in Washington, received loans between $2 million and $5 million, according to the administration.
A firm that raises money for Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee received a loan of more than $1 million, according to the data set, while a company that produces Mr. Trump’s political advertisements received between $350,000 and $1 million. So did a consulting firm started by President Barack Obama’s former campaign manager Jim Messina and one that Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign paid for communications consulting.
Several firms that advise companies on how to deal with the government, but are not officially registered to lobby, were also said to have received loans. They include companies run by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who served in the Clinton administration.
The administration listed loans worth between $350,000 and $1 million to a consulting firm started by former Senator William S. Cohen, a Maine Republican who also served in the Clinton administration as the secretary of defense, and one run by a homeland security secretary in the Bush administration, Michael Chertoff. And DCI Group AZ, a prominent political and corporate consulting firm, collected as much as $5 million.
An affiliate of Americans for Tax Reform, the influential conservative group that has been a vocal critic of government spending, received between $150,000 and $350,000, according to the government’s data. In a statement, the group said the foundation “was badly hurt by the government shutdown” and “does not engage in lobbying.”