Saturday Jan 22, 201106:53 PM GMT
GOP House leaders increasingly accepting corporate 'donations'
Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:14PM
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Millions of dollars in donations have flown to GOP leaders in congress in an attempt to reverse some of the Democratic policies affecting 'big business' in the U.S.

 

U.S. banks, health insurers and other major business sectors have dramatically increased their contributions to the Republican Party.

 

Much of the money has gone to the House chairmen overseeing banking, energy and other key committees. These committees are responsible for setting up Congress' agenda for the next two years.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

The impetus behind such largess is simple: Many companies and industry groups hope House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) and other Republicans will succeed in rolling back Democratic policies they find objectionable, including environmental and Wall Street regulations.

 

GOP lawmakers took their first step in that direction Wednesday by voting to repeal President Obama's health-care overhaul law.

 

Major health-care firms and their employees gave Republican leaders at least $5 million over the past two years, including more than $1.6 million to Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA).

 

Cantor received more than $6 million from corporate-linked donors during the 2010 midterm campaign, including $2.4 million from companies and employees in the finance, insurance and real estate industries

 

The total marks a 40 percent increase from 2008 and puts Cantor well ahead of most of his House GOP colleagues. At his first news briefing this month, Cantor signaled that business issues will be a priority for the GOP majority, including attempts to reverse key Obama initiatives.

 

Banking, insurance and investment firms gave millions more to lawmakers heading finance-related committees, including Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (Mich.), Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (Ky.). Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus (Ala.) - who will oversee attempts to undo Obama's Wall Street regulatory changes - received more than $1.2 million from the banking sector, accounting for the vast majority of his total contributions in 2010, records show. Washington Post

 

FACTS & FIGURES

Money in politics, subverts democratic institutions and exerts undue influence on who gets elected and what legislators vote for. The high cost of campaigning has resulted in the marginalization of third parties and independents. The 2010 midterm elections cost an estimated $4 billion dollars.

 

Companies and interest groups spent $3.42 billion lobbying Congress and the federal government in 2008. That's a 14 percent jump from the previous year and roughly twice the 2001 amount. This is despite the worst recession since the '30s.

 

Official data from the Federal Election Commission, show that the financial sector has made over $2.4 billion election contributions to political parties in the past twenty years, with over 99% of it going to the two main parties (54% given to Republicans and 45% given to Democrats).

 

The financial sector has spent over $4 billion dollars lobbying in the past 12 years. This sector has been the main recipient of financial stimulus packages from the government which are unpopular with a majority of Americans.

 

FM/KA/HM

 

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