Tim Cook discreetly met with senior leaders in Congress from both parties last Tuesday to offer introductions and open up Congressional access to Apple, CNN Money reports. While Apple has traditionally eschewed major lobbying efforts — its spent just 23% of what Google spent on lawmakers in 2011, despite its deep cash reserves — Cook's leadership style suggests that the company may become more involved in policy matters than it had been under Steve Jobs. Apple may also have incentive to develop closer ties with lawmakers considering that it has fell under increasing government scrutiny in recent months over a number of issues, including iOS privacy concerns and its alleged ebook price-fixing scheme.
CNN Money reports that Cook met with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Congressional aides tell CNN that Cook's visit was brief and low-key, and that he made it clear to Congress members that they now have an "open line" to Apple — but there was no discussion of Apple's current tangles with government officials and lawmakers.