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August 13, 2001
Money and Politics, Part 1: A Million-Dollar Club: Legislators Who Write Tax, Trade, Health Care, and Social Security Laws
The members of one of the most powerful committees in the House of Representatives raised an average of almost $1 million apiece in campaign contributions in preparation for the November 2000 election. Tax Analysts reports in its August 13th edition of Tax Notes magazine that 41 members of the House Ways and Means Committee raised $38.7 million for the 2000 elections. And more than half of that came from Political Action Committees (PACs), according to contributing editor Martin A. Sullivan of Tax Analysts, who bases his analysis on Federal Election Commission data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Ways and Means writes legislation on the following issues: tax, health care, social security, international trade, and welfare. These are important issues for businesses in major sectors of the U.S. economy, according to Sullivan. He highlights the relationship between certain industries and their favored tax provisions: the tax-advantaged insurance industry gave $2.06 million to Ways and Means members; pharmaceuticals gave $718,000 to the Committee that repeatedly renews tax incentives for research; and energy tax provisions were enacted this year by a Committee that received almost $600,000 from energy PACs.

Republican Clay Shaw of Florida was head and shoulders above the others in raising campaign funds: he raised $2.76 million in the closest congressional race of his career. A distant second in raising contributions ($1.97 million) was Rep. Charlie Rangel (NY), the most senior Democrat on the Committee and the man who would be Chairman if the Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives. Others in the top ten of fund raisers all are Republicans and raised more than $1.2 million each. They are Reps. Mark Foley (Fla); Jennifer Dunn (Wash); Nancy Johnson (Conn); Jerry Weller (Ill); J.D. Hayworth (Ariz); Paul Ryan (Wis); Bill Thomas (Calif); and Phil English (Penn).

Others raising more than a million apiece are Reps. Sander Levin (D-Mich); Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo); and Phil Crane (R-Calif).

Please contact Tax Analysts for the full text of Sullivan's article.

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