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Congress super committee members receive donations from big industry and unions

Congress super committee members receive donations from big industry and unions

Congress super committee members receive donations from big industry and unions

Members of the congressional committee charged with making one of the most sensitive economic decisions facing America, a $1.2tn cut in the federal budget, have received a series of donations from the defense, pharmaceutical, oil and other industries.

 

The Sunlight Foundation, a non-partisan organization aimed at greater transparency in government, published donations to 10 members since they were appointed in August to the congressional super-committee with responsibility for recommending cuts and possible tax increases over the next ten years. Their decisions, due to be announced by 23 November, could be worth millions of dollars to the specific industries.

 

The super-committee, made up of six Democrats and six Republicans, was appointed as part of a compromise between Congress and the White House aimed at resolving a month-long political standoff in Washington.

 

Sunlight, based on declarations of donations filed by members of Congress to the Federal Election Commission, found that 19 of the biggest political donors in the country gave $83,000 to the campaigns of 10 members since their appointment to the super-committee. The remaining two members, Democratic senator Patty Murray and Republican senator Jon Kyl, took no donations.

 

The donors included defence giant Lockheed Martin, drug company Pfizer, oil company Chevron and the National Association of Realtors, as well as the Teamsters union.Bill Allison, editorial director of Sunlight, said on Thursday the public had a right to know if there was a conflict of interest. “I think that the committee is doing a lot of its work in the dark, and we know that lobbyists are trying to influence the process. We should at least know who is giving these members of Congress money, and who is meeting with them to influence their decisons.”

ChrisB – Somehow (even after a lifetime in Chicago) I am still surprised at how brazenly unethical politicians can be.  We have allowed politicians to stuff their pockets with campaign contributions, only to have them use it to sling mud and scramble to retain their positions.  They don’t seem to use any of that money for good.  I am quickly losing faith that any of these people have the best interest of their country at heart.  Even when tasked with addressing the most crucial and potentially devastating economic problems we are likely to see in our lives, they can’t keep their hands out of the cookie jar.

 

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