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Howard Marlowe, president of the American League of Lobbyists, hopes to convince Congress to expand the provision to include any information gleaned from Capitol Hill — not just information that could inform investment activity.

“We want to use this as an opportunity,” Mr. Marlowe said. “We want to be more inclusive and pick up the Gingrichs, the Daschles and the thousands of other people who are ABAL — Anything But A Lobbyist.”

To others, the provision extends far beyond its intended effects.

Mr. Susman said that as he reads the bill, he believes it could apply to a “humongous” number of people — from businesses trying to make real estate decisions to individuals seeking to sell a home.

“If I call a friend on the Hill to find out if there’s likely to be action on a tax bill because I’m thinking about selling my second house, I’m caught as a political intelligence consultant,” he said. “That’s clearly information collection for purposes of making a financial decision.”