WASHINGTON — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is flexing its muscles in the early days of the Obama administration, spending $4.1 million on lobbying in the first half of the year to influence policy on such key issues as health care reform and a bill that would boost unionizing efforts.
The first-half lobbying expenditures illustrate how concerned the retail giant, which has historically had stronger Republican allies, is about participating in helping craft policy in a Democratic administration where its opponent on most issues, organized labor, seemingly has an ally in President Obama.
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