10 of 12 Supercommittee Members Received Contributions from Foreign Lobbyists

Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Nearly all 12 members of the congressional “Supercommittee” charged with cutting more than $1 trillion from the federal budget have accepted donations from foreign lobbyists this year.
The fact that 10 lawmakers have taken contributions recently from overseas interests could compromise their decision-making when deciding which programs to cut money out of, government watchdogs say. For instance, a military program favored by a foreign government that has given to a representative’s reelection campaign may wind up being spared from the chopping block. For example, the lobbying firm of Patton Boggs arranged for South Korea’s ambassador to the United States, Han Duk-soo, to speak at a $5,000-a-plate fundraiser in the district of Supercommittee member Rep. James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) and also arranged for meetings with the office of Supercommittee co-chair Sen. Patti Murray (D-Washington).
The Project on Government Oversight reports that all 12 committee members have been contacted by foreign lobbyists. The only two not to receive campaign contributions so far are Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) and Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).
Federal campaign reports show that members of the Supercommittee have accepted more than $50,000 in direct campaign contributions from foreign lobbyists during 2011 alone.
-Noel Brinkerhoff

Super Committee: Under the (Foreign) Influence? (Project on Government Oversight) 


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