WASHINGTON BUREAU — The insurance industry ranks just 10th on a list of top industry contributors to members of the new “super committee” – the congressional panel that is supposed to find $1.5 trillion in federal spending cuts by Thanksgiving.
Lawyers and law firms gave the 12 super committee members about $32 million, and securities and investment firms gave $11 million. Insurance contributors contributed $5.7 million. In terms of super committee member contributions, insurance contributors lagged behind health professional, real estate and business issues contributors.
On another list, of giving by individual companies and political action committees (PACs), by far the largest campaign contributor was the Club for Growth, Washington. That group’s objective is to limit taxation, especially for the wealthy. It contributed $990,066.
MapLight, Berkeley, Calif., a campaign contribution tracking group, created the lists using contribution data from the Center for Responsive Politics, Washington, which is also known as OpenSecrets.org. The center’s insurance category includes contributions from donors identified as insurance agents, insurance brokers, or life, health or property-casualty insurers.
MapLight added up the campaign contributions made to the 12 super committee members from Jan. 1, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2010.
The law that established the super committee — the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction — called for Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate to each pick three super committee members.
The members are:
- Senate Democrats: Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.; and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
- Senate Republicans: Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz.; Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
- House Republicans: Rep. David Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee; Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.
- House Democrats: Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.; and Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.
One committee member, Toomey, a longtime member of the Club for Growth, received $837,641 from the Club for Growth in campaign contributions from 2001 to 2010. He also received about $1.1 million in contributions from Republican/conservative groups over that period.