The literature on distressed firms has focused on these firms’ investment, capital structure, and labor decisions. This paper investigates a novel aspect of firm behavior in distress: how financial health affects a firm׳s lobbying and, consequently, its relationship with the government. We exploit the shock to nonfinancial firms during the 2008 financial crisis and the availability of the stimulus package in the first quarter of 2009. We find that firms with weaker financial health, as measured by credit default swap spreads, lobbied more. We also show that the amount spent on lobbying was associated with a greater likelihood of receiving stimulus funds.