WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) — Members of the U.S. congressional supercommittee, tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in savings, have been wooed by special interest groups, a review indicated.
Financial disclosure statements filed this weekend indicate some members of the 12-member, bicameral bipartisan panel got more campaign contributions in July from political action committees than anyone else in Congress, The Washington Times reported Monday.
Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the powerful tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee and a panel member received $134,000, largely from insurance and healthcare groups, more than any other congressional member, including party leaders, the review indicated.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, received $92,000 and ranked fourth among all lawmakers. Reps. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Becerra Xavier, D-Calif., also were near the top in political action committee contributions in July.
“They’ve already had longstanding relationships with these members and had them in their sights,” Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political influence, told the Times.
Supercommittee members, she said, are “going to attract donations by virtue of living.”