Supercommittee members plan corporate fundraisers while deciding public sector cuts
Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/2010/07/MahurinPolitics_Thumb1.jpgAt least nine of the 12 U.S. House and Senate members of the budget-cutting supercommittee have scheduled corporate fundraisers this fall, reported The Washington Post, making it increasingly likely they will decide what cuts to make from government programs while taking donations from industry giants.
The bipartisan committee must come up with a plan for up to $1.5 trillion in budget cuts in the next 10 years by Thanksgiving, but the donations they receive won’t be disclosed to the Federal Election Commission until January –- long after the budget cuts are identified.
“There should be greater transparency about who these folks are meeting with and who they’re taking money from,” said Bill Allison, editorial director at the Sunlight Foundation. “I don’t think the special interests should have special access.”
A bill targeting this issue, that would require supercommittee members to reveal any campaign contributions or lobbying contracts immediately, was introduced in the House on Wednesday by Reps. David Loebsack (D-Iowa), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and James B. Renacci (R-Ohio).
Members of the supercommittee are no strangers to corporate donations –- most have received millions from industry groups and corporate PACS in the past -– but the size of the budget cuts “has set off a frenzy among lobbyists on K Street, including nearly 100 identified by The Washington Post as former employees of supercommittee members.”
Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) is the most active fundraiser on the panel –- he has five fundraising events scheduled between now and Thanksgiving, according to the Sunlight Foundation, including a “healthcare breakfast” scheduled for the first public hearing put on by the subcommittee.