ALMOST $200 MILLION DONATED TO REPRESENTATIVES TO PASS TPA

Jun 27, 2015 by

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OP ED NEWS

Money in Politics
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Many think our government is for sale. However, by taking a look at the facts below provided by the Open Secrets, it is easy to understand where they are coming from.

Looking back at Friday the 12th, the House voted on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the controversial bill that gives power to the executive branch to negotiate treaties. TPA limit’s Congress’ ability to better a trade deal by subjecting members of Congress to 90 days of reviewing the trade agreement, prohibiting any amendments on the implementing legislation, and giving them an up or down vote. TPA passed with a mere 219-211 vote with only 218 needed to pass. The real shocker comes from the amount of money each Representative received for a yes vote. In total, $197,869,145 was given to Representatives for a yes vote where as $23,065,231 was given in opposition.

  • John Boehner (R-OH) received $5.3 million for a “yea” vote and was the highest paid legislator.
  • Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) received $2.4 million for his “yea” vote.
  • Paul Ryan (R-WI) received $2.4 million for a “yea” vote and came in at the third highest paid legislator.
  • Pat Tiberi (R-OH) follows Paul Ryan, coming in the fourth spot having received $1.6 million for his “yea” vote.

The fifth highest paid legislator is somewhat of a “hero” in comparison to others. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD) received $1.6 million for a yes vote and only $282,710 for a no vote. Despite of his high contribution from those in favor of TPA, he still voted a solid nay.

We also have other hero stories.

  • Joe Crowley (D-NY) received 1.3 million for a “yea” vote and only $72,550 for a “nay” vote and he still voted against TPA.
  • Patrick Murphy (D-FL) received 1.1 million for a “yea” vote and only $213,360 for a “nay” vote and still voted against it.
  • Richard Neal D(MA) received $1.1 million for a “yea” vote and a mere $47,625 for a “nay” vote and still voted against it.

Democrats are not the only heroes in this voting session. GOP members spoke very loud and clear.

  • Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) received $541,746 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay” vote and he still voted “nay!”
  • Andy Harris (R-MD) received $254,803 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay” vote and he still voted “nay”.
  • Thomas Massie (R-KY) received $250,328 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay” vote and he still voted “nay.”
  • Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) received $180,832 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay vote” and she still voted “nay.”

Where did this kind of money come from? Those in favor of TPA were Security Brokers and Investment Companies who donated a whopping $11.3 million dollars for a “yea” vote. Or big banking companies who donated $10.1 million dollars. In other words, Wall Street hashed out millions and millions of dollars to push for the passage of TPA.

Those numbers are absolutely staggering. Corporations are taking control of what policies are approved or blocked in the U.S. We cannot sit around while corporations decide what is “good” for America or not! This is a democracy, not a plutocracy! Contact your representatives and let them know that you do not want them to vote in favor of TPA!
The author of this piece insinuates that $200 million was contributed to politicians to influence this single piece of legislation.  No. This $200 million figure reflects aggregate contributions given to Representatives over the past 2 years. I believe that financial contributions earmarked to influence a single piece of legislation is considered quid pro quo corruption, which is illegal.  (See Beyond Quid Pro Quo: What Counts As Political Corruption?www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/05/04/404052618/beyond-quid-pro-quo-what-counts-as-political-corruption )
Anyhow, contributors have larger agendas than a single piece of legislation. If the author of this piece would have read what she hyperlinked to more closely, she would have noticed that these are “reported contributions to congressional campaigns of House members in office on day of vote, from interest groups invested in the vote according to MapLight, October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2014.”  It does not say “specifically, and solely to influence the TPA vote.”

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