Members of the deficit-reduction super committee have received a combined total of $41 million from the financial and real estate sectors during their time in Congress, according to a new report from Public Campaign and National People’s Action.
The report also found that at least 27 current or former aides for members of the super committee have traveled through the revolving door between K Street and Capitol Hill and have lobbied on behalf of financial firms.
“Wall Street bought the deregulation that led to our economic collapse and the American public has paid the price,” Nick Nyhart, president of Public Campaign said in a release. “The super committee should not give Wall Street and big banks another free ride because of their campaign cash.”
The government reform groups are pushing several tax reforms that Wall Street strong opposes, such as closing hedge-fund loophole and instituting a financial-speculation tax, both of which could generate more than a trillion dollars and offset costs for several components of Obama’s jobs bill, including rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, extending unemployment benefits and providing tax incentives for hiring veterans.
“Wall Street and the big banks are trying to buy their way out of paying their fair share,” George Goehl, executive director of National People’s Action said in a release. “We know where the money is to rebuild our economy and it’s not in the pockets of school children or in Grandma’s pension – it’s on Wall Street.”
Other highlights of the report:
Super committee members have received nearly $900,000 from three of the top American banks: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.
Since 2000, the financial sector has spent more than $4 billion lobbying elected officials.
In August, Public Campaign and National People’s Action joined two-dozen watchdog organizations in signing a letter urging the super committee members to give up fundraising and provide complete transparency of their meetings with lobbyists, donors, and corporate CEOs. So far, five members of the committee have announced that they would slow or curtail fundraising, including: Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT), John Kerry (D-MA), Rob Portman (R-OH), as well as Reps. Dave Camp (R-MI) and Fred Upton (R-MI).
Beginning this week, community, faith and labor activists around the country plan to visit the district offices of super committee members while they are at home on recess. The groups will be delivering a petition signed by thousands of concerned citizens calling on the super committee to make Wall Street pay their fair share.
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