The federal government owns most of GM.
So when GM hires lobbyists, things get kind of weird: The government (through GM) pays people whose job is to influence the government in a way that will benefit GM (and, therefore, the government).
On the one hand, this seems ridiculous.
On the other hand, companies hire lobbyists because they figure it's good for business. And GM still has to compete against other car companies that are hiring their own lobbyists.
We bring this up now because Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, is planning to propose barring government-owned companies from hiring lobbyists.
A spokesman for Issa told me the measure would apply to any company where the government holds at least a 5 percent stake. It would apply to Ally Bank (a sponsor of Planet Money), AIG, GM, and Chrysler, among others.
Planet Money Question Of The Day: Should government-owned companies be allowed to hire lobbyists? Leave your answer in the comments section.