The Finest Money Can Buy
January 21, 2011 12:14 PM Subscribe
'The new Republican leaders in the House have received millions of dollars in fresh contributions from banks, health insurers and other major business interests,
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which are pressing for broad reversals of Democratic policies that affect corporations, according to disclosure records and interviews.''Much of that money flowed to the GOP chairmen overseeing banking, energy and other key committees, who will play a central role in setting the House agenda over the next two years. The impetus behind such largess is simple: Many companies and industry groups hope that 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 reform law. Major health-care firms and their employees gave Republican leaders at least $5 million over the past two years, including well over $2 million to Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), according to a Washington Post analysis of contribution data.'
'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 reforms - received more than $1.2 million from the banking sector, accounting for the vast majority of his total contributions in 2010, records show.
The pattern is similar for other key House panels. Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, received more than $400,000 from the energy and mining industries, a leap of nearly 50 percent from 2008. Major contributors included employees of DTE Energy, CMS Energy and the Edison Electric Institute, which represents utilities, records show.'