News from the Hill: Top Committee chairpeople rake it in!
Posted November 17, 2011on:
Just a few things from The Hill news service you might have missed:
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
— Senate Democrats offer formula aimed at adjusting seniors’ benefits
— Congressional conservatives target welfare overhaul
— House Dems urge regulators to rethink Volcker Rule
— Cotton producers defend farm bill changes
— Watchdog halts dozens of mortgage-modification scams
— Prices drop for the first time since June
— Corporate execs say tax holiday can’t wait
— Top House Democrat demands explanation of penalties for late foreclosures
— Report: Top committee members rake it in from interested industry
— Builders’ outlook less gloomy on the housing market
— Mortgage applications fell 10 percent last week
One especially egregious practice We the people should somehow stop. I don’t know how we can stop the “buying” of congressmen and women but I do know the practice leads to a whole lot of bad behavior on the part of these Congressmen, high costs to the tax payers and the ultimate destruction of a nation. A commenter on this blog stated her desire to see all money taken out of elections and campaigns. I told her I very much agreed with her but human beings being the greedy pigs we are I had no idea how to do it. Oh, and that is greedy and HIGHLY INVENTIVE pigs!
This is and interesting and disheartening report:
Report: Top committee members rake it in from interested industryBy Bernie Becker – 11/16/11 10:48 AM ET
Does taking over the top spot on a House committee lead to a financial windfall for lawmakers? A new report suggests it does.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), looking at 10 separate House panels, found that the top Republican and Democrat had seen their fundraising totals from the industries they oversee grow at a steep rate between the 1998 election cycle and the 2010 cycle.
In all, CREW found, these chairmen and ranking members saw their industry contributions jump almost sixfold while their fundraising in general rose 230 percent.
The good-government group, which used data from the Center for Responsive Politics, suggested that its findings essentially show that industries are legally bribing top lawmakers.
“Congress would be a lot more transparent if it just put a for sale sign on the front of the Capitol,” Melanie Sloan, CREW’s executive director, said in a statement.
CREW found, among other things, that financial industry donations to Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), the House Financial Services chairman, rose by 620 percent between 1998 and 2010 – more than two and a half times the jump in his total contributions.
Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the ranking Democrat on the Agriculture panel, saw a similar increase — a 711 percent jump in donations from agriculture groups, compared to a 274 percent upswing overall.
Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the ranking member at Financial Services, and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairman at the Energy and Commerce Committee, also saw significant increases in industry donations.
CREW also said that their research found that committee leaders were sometimes more likely to vote in an industry’s favor than colleagues from the same party.
But the group’s findings were also not across-the-board.
Peterson, for instance, voted 7 out of 10 times with industries regulated by the Agriculture Committee in 2007 and 2008, the same exact percentage as the average Democrat.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), now the ranking member at Energy and Commerce, also got more than 10 times as much from related industries in 2010 than he did in 1998. But Waxman’s overall fundraising grew by a factor of 11.
And Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, now the top Democrat at Natural Resources, saw his industry contributions jump by more than 2,500 percent in the dozen years examined.
Still, the $47,400 Markey received from industry groups in the 2010 cycle amounted to just over 3 percent of his total contributions. The Massachusetts Democrat had brought in $1,800 from those groups in 1998.