Supercommittee Members' Staffs Laden With Lobbyists

Tuesday, 06 Sep 2011 02:26 PM

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Nearly 100 registered lobbyists used to work for the congressional members of the supercommittee debt panel. The former employees now represent healthcare companies, members of the defense industry, and Wall Street banks, The Washington Post reported.

Additionally, some members of the panel have former lobbyists on their staffs. The 12-member committee — six Democrats and six Republicans — is to identify $1.5 trillion in spending cuts by Thanksgiving. If no agreement can be reached, the plan calls for across-the-board cuts evenly divided between defense and non-defense programs, the Post reported.

“Everybody in the Western world will be trying to influence the supercommittee at the same time,” Loren Thompson, a defense industry consultant at the Lexington Institute, told the Post. “If it was constructed to scare the daylights out of the political system, it’s certainly done the job.”

Overall, two-thirds of the lobbyists with committee ties are Democrats, including about two dozen former aides to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., has at least 10 former aides who now work as lobbyists, the Post reported.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America employs lobbyists who previously worked for Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.; Baucus; Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.; and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich. An aide to Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., used to represent PhRMA, the Post reported.


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