Tuesday, August 23, 2011

US congress super committee under fire over fundraising

Source: Press TV

When Congress created the debt reduction "Super committee" it gave unprecedented power to a small group of congressional lawmakers whose mission is to slash billions of dollars in spending from the federal


But already the committee is coming under fire. The Washington Times reports some members of the "Super-Committee" were "super fundraisers " in July. The appointment of six lawmakers from each party ignited a fast and furious competition among special interest groups hoping to gain access to the committee to protect their piece of the federal pie.

But are members of the committee being cautious? Let's take a look at just a few examples. In July, Super committee member Dave Camp collected 134,000 dollars. That's more PAC money than anyone else in Congress received, including party leaders. Rep. Fred Upton raked in 92,000 dollars.

Senator Patty Murray will co-host a fundraiser where attendees will pay thousands of dollars for tickets, just days before the "Super committee's" first meeting.

In July, some members of the super committee received more campaign contributions from political action committees than anyone else in Congress, The Washington Times reports nearly a half-million dollars in PAC money came from finance, insurance, real estate, and health industries. All of which stand to lose billions if their interests are not protected by the super committee.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics is asking "super committee" members to cease all fundraising operations while making budget cuts. Brookings Bill Galston says that's unrealistic.

Galston say it is important the "super committee" be viewed as working in the best interest of the country and not just serving the needs of special interest groups.

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