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Interest Groups Behind Five New Congressional Power Brokers

With the 115th Congress officially in session, five key committees have new leaders. Committee chairs wield considerable influence over policymaking, not only by helping to draft and revise legislation, but also by deciding which bills receive a hearing. Below is a MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to the five new committee chairs by industry and by company, including corporate PACs and employees of those firms.

Mike Crapo (R-ID)

Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

The committee has jurisdiction over insurance, financial markets, securities, banking, economic policy, mass transit, housing, and other areas related to financial regulation and urban development.

Mike Crapo, table 1

John Barrasso (R-WY)

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

The committee oversees all legislation concerning infrastructure, environmental regulation and conservation. 

John Barrasso, Table 2

Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)

House Committee on Appropriations

The committee is responsible for deciding how the U.S. government spends taxpayer dollars. It is one of the most powerful committees in Congress, guiding the creation of the nation’s nearly $4 trillion annual budget.

Rodney Frelinghuysen

Virginia Foxx (R-NC)

House Committee on Education and the Workforce

The committee oversees policies related to students and workers, including regulations regarding overtime and the minimum wage, higher education, and charter schools.

Virginia Foxx, Table 4

Greg Walden (R-OR)

House Energy and Commerce Committee

According to its website, the committee “is vested with the broadest jurisdiction of any congressional authorizing committee,” overseeing telecommunications, food and drug safety, public health research, commerce, and energy policy.

Greg Walden, table 5

Methodology: MapLight analysis of contributions from OpenSecrets.org. The data includes contributions received during the last six years of available data (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2016) for Senators and the last two years of available data (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016) for Representatives.

You can view this press release in its original form on the MapLight website here

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About this Author

MapLight is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, research organization that reveals money's influence on politics.

Elected officials collect large sums of money to run their campaigns, and they often pay back campaign contributors with special access and favorable laws. This common practice is contrary to the public interest, yet legal.

MapLight connects data on campaign contributions, politicians, votes, industries, companies, and more to show patterns of influence that could never be seen before. 

We currently research money and influence in the...

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