The committees in the House of Representatives that oversee tax writing and regulation of the financial industry have provided huge boosts to their members’ campaign fundraising accounts over the last nine congresses, according to a new study from the Sunlight Foundation, a campaign finance watchdog.
Seats on the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax writing, added more than half a million dollars over mean fundraising totals, while assignments on the House Financial Services Committee add nearly $300,000 when donations from individuals and political action committees are combined, the Sunlight Foundation found in its analysis of the 103rd-111th Congresses:
Both committees have been major focal points recently. The Financial Services Committee led the way on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which overhauled the nation’s financial regulatory laws. Ways and Means, meanwhile, has been at the center of tax reform, with Democrats pushing to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and close certain tax loopholes and Republicans fighting to lower corporate and personal income taxes and close loopholes of their own.
Under the newly-adopted House Republican budget, Ways and Means is back in the spotlight, charged with ending tax breaks to finance a massive tax cut for the wealthy. And with the GOP at the helm, Financial Services has led the fight to undermine and ultimately repeal Dodd-Frank. To put the fundraising clout that goes with assignments on those committees in context, a seat on on those committees is worth between three and five times more than a seat on the Appropriations Committee, once viewed as the most powerful committee in Congress.