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Who Owns the Next House Committee Chairmen?
WASHINGTON - November 4 - A new set of Republican lawmakers is poised to take over House appropriations, authorization and oversight committees on Capitol Hill. The Center for Public Integrity has investigated the likely incoming chairmenand analyzed their campaign contributors, earmark histories and political leanings.
Most are Caucasian males. They tend to be more conservative than the average House Republican and enjoy deep ties to the industries they will soon oversee. Some have former staffers turned lobbyists who could return to seek influence before the lawmakers' committees. And several are among Capitol Hill's most prolific in procuring earmarks for projects in their districts.
The Center's analysis focused on members likely to lead the House panels on appropriations (including the defense subcommittee), armed services, budget, education and labor, energy and commerce, financial services, homeland security, natural resources, oversight and government reform, transportation and infrastructure, and ways and means.
Eight of the 14 committee-chair candidates received the majority of their campaign funds since 2007 from special interest PACs, including:
- Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, a possible candidate for the Energy and Commerce committee chairmanship, who has received 70 percent of the $4.8 million he raised since 2007 from PACs. He is also the top House recipient of campaign cash from the oil industry since 1999.
- Rep. David Camp of Michigan, the top contender for the Ways and Means Committee that controls taxes and spending, who received a whopping 79 percent of the $6.5 million he collected in the last two elections from PACs.
As well, timber and paper giant Weyerhaeuser Co. was the top PAC contributor to Washington Rep. Doc Hastings, the presumptive chairman of the Natural Resources Committee.
The detailed Center analysis taps multiple public and proprietary information sources to create a better of picture of what America can expect from the new crop of House committee chairmen.
Read and link to the Center story, "The Chairmen: New House Leaders Have Familiar Ties to Business, Revolving Door."