The Big Money Behind Congress' New Super Committee
The names are in, the roster filled out: Last week, Congressional leaders announced the twelve members of a new bipartisan "super committee," created by the debt ceiling bill, to find another $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction. Those lawmakers are: Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), and Max Baucus (D-Mont.); and Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), and Jim Clyburn (D-SC).
These 12 lawmakers cover the ideological gamut, from the most hawkish fiscal conservatives to deep blue liberal Democrats, but they all have this in common: Their careers have been greased by the money of powerful lobbies and political advocacy groups. Using data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the folks at MapLight, a group focusing on money in American politics, have calculated the biggest donors behind the Super Committee.
The heaviest hitters are no surprise: lawyers and law firms (who often top lists of political donations), big banks such as Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, and political outfits including the lefty EMILY's List and the conservative Club for Growth. As the Super Committee begins debating further spending cuts and (maybe) revenue increases as part of a deficit reduction package due by November, it's worth bearing in mind, as with any big debate in Washington, that there are big donors behind the lawmakers at the bargaining table.
Here are the top 10 industries that have donated to Super Committee members:
|Securities & Investment||$11,221,416|
Here are top ten political action committees or company employees who've given to Super Committee members:
|Club for Growth||$990,066|
|University of California||$629,495|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co.||$494,316|
|Bank of America||$349,566|
|Skadden, Arps, et al.||$347,356|