For Immediate Release


Pamela Heisey,, phone: 415.299.0898.

Auto Bailout: $74K to Each House Member Voting Yes

BERKELEY, Calif. - Members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act last night.'s research department revealed that over the past five years (January 2003 - October 2008), auto manufacturers, auto dealers and labor unions gave an average of $74,100 in campaign contributions to each Representative voting in favor of the auto bailout, compared with an average of $45,015 to each Representative voting against the bailout--65% more money, on average, given to those who voted Yes. The final vote: 237 Representatives voted Yes and 170 voted No, with 26 Not Voting and 1 voting “Present.”'s analysis included contributions from auto manufacturers, auto dealers, auto-related industries and labor unions, groups that have expressed support for this bill's passage.

“Big-money interest groups investing in political influence see sky-high returns, while 'we the people' foot the bill," said Daniel Newman,'s executive director. “Votes in Congress once again align with the river of money that flows through our broken political system.”

House Democrats voted overwhelmingly in favor of this bill, 205 voting Yes and 20 voting No (11 not voting). Democrats voting Yes received an average of $74,846 each, about 19% more than those voting No, who received an average of $63,140.
House Republicans were somewhat more divided on this bill, 32 voting Yes and 150 voting No (16 not voting). Republicans voting Yes received an average of $69,323 each, 63% more than those voting No, who received an average of $42,598.

Votes on H.R. 7321, the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act:

Average amount Auto Manufacturers and Unions gave to U.S. House Members:



Average $ given to each legislator voting this way

House Members (All)

voted Yes



voted No


House Democrats
voted Yes
voted No

House Republicans

voted Yes


voted No

To view how each legislator voted and their campaign contributions visit:

Breakdown by Interest Group:

As stated above, legislators voting Yes received, on average, $74,100, which is 65% more than the amount given to legislators voting No, $45,015. Labor union contributions accounted for this difference, with unions giving an average of $48,193 to each lawmaker voting Yes, over seven times more than the $6,607 they gave to each lawmaker voting No.

  Average $ given to each member:
Interest Groups

Voting Yes

Voting No

All interests in support




Labor unions



Auto dealers



Auto manufacturers



Truck/auto parts



Manufacturing trade groups




Note: Contribution data includes both PAC and individual



The big three auto firms spent $49,338,900 on lobbying over the past two years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Auto Firm:

Lobbying $

General Motors








Source: Includes data from 2007 and 2008, up to latest-available filings.

Methodology:'s analysis used data from the Center for Responsive Politics ( and included campaign funds given from January 2003
through October 2008 by these industries: Labor Unions, Auto Manufacturers, Auto Dealers, Manufacturing Trade Groups, and Truck/Automotive parts. Data includes both PAC and individual
contributions. We used Congressional voting records
from the U.S. House website, via Contribution data for Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), elected in a special election in Nov. 2008, were not included.'s

research department reveals how contributions correlate with
legislation so that citizens have key information needed to draw their
own conclusions about how campaign contributions affect policy.Campaign contributions are only one factor affecting legislator
behavior. The correlations we highlight between industry and union
giving and legislative outcomes do not show that one caused the other,
and we do not make this claim. We do make the claim, however, that
campaign contributions bias our legislative system. Simply put,
candidates who take positions contrary to industry interests are
unlikely to receive industry funds and thus have fewer resources for

their election campaigns than those whose votes favor industry


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Won't Exist. is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization based in Berkeley, California. Its search engine at illuminates the connection between Money And Politics (MAP) via a database of campaign contributions and legislative outcomes. Data sources include:; Center for Responsive Politics (; Federal Election Commission (FEC); and National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP). Support and opposition data is obtained through testimony at public hearings, proprietary news databases and public statements on the websites of trade associations and other groups. To learn more visit:

Share This Article

More in: