DATA RELEASE: Auto Industry Bailout: House Members Voting 'Yes' Received 65% More from Auto Industry Interest Groups than those Voting 'No'

BERKELEY, CA, December 12, 2008 - Members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act last night.'s research department revealed that over the past five years (January 2003 - October 2008), auto manufacturers, auto dealers and labor unions gave an average of $74,100 in campaign contributions to each Representative voting in favor of the auto bailout, compared with an average of $45,015 to each Representative voting against the bailout--65% more money, on average, given to those who voted Yes. The final vote: 237 Representatives voted Yes and 170 voted No, with 26 Not Voting and 1 voting “Present.”'s analysis included contributions from auto manufacturers, auto dealers, auto-related industries and labor unions, groups that have expressed support for this bill's passage.

“Big-money interest groups investing in political influence see sky-high returns, while 'we the people' foot the bill," said Daniel Newman,'s executive director. “Votes in Congress once again align with the river of money that flows through our broken political system.”

House Democrats voted overwhelmingly in favor of this bill, 205 voting Yes and 20 voting No (11 not voting). Democrats voting Yes received an average of $74,846 each, about 19% more than those voting No, who received an average of $63,140.

House Republicans were somewhat more divided on this bill, 32 voting Yes and 150 voting No (16 not voting). Republicans voting Yes received an average of $69,323 each, 63% more than those voting No, who received an average of $42,598.

Votes on H.R. 7321, the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act:

Average amount Auto Manufacturers and Unions gave to U.S. House Members:



Average $ given to each legislator voting this way

House Members (All)

voted Yes



voted No


House Democrats
voted Yes
voted No

House Republicans

voted Yes


voted No

To view how each legislator voted and their campaign contributions visit:

Breakdown by Interest Group:

As stated above, legislators voting Yes received, on average, $74,100, which is 65% more than the amount given to legislators voting No, $45,015. Labor union contributions accounted for this difference, with unions giving an average of $48,193 to each lawmaker voting Yes, over seven times more than the $6,607 they gave to each lawmaker voting No.

  Average $ given to each member:
Interest Groups

Voting Yes

Voting No

All interests in support




Labor unions



Auto dealers



Auto manufacturers



Truck/auto parts



Manufacturing trade groups




Note: Contribution data includes both PAC and individual contributions.


The big three auto firms spent $49,338,900 on lobbying over the past two years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Auto Firm:

Lobbying $

General Motors







Source: Includes data from 2007 and 2008, up to latest-available filings.

Methodology:'s analysis used data from the Center for Responsive Politics( and included campaign funds given from January 2003 through October 2008 by these industries: Labor Unions, Auto Manufacturers, Auto Dealers, Manufacturing Trade Groups, and Truck/Automotive parts. Data includes both PAC and individual contributions. We used Congressional voting records from the U.S. House website, via Contribution data for Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), elected in a special election in Nov. 2008, were not included.'s research department reveals how contributions correlate with legislation so that citizens have key information needed to draw their own conclusions about how campaign contributions affect policy.Campaign contributions are only one factor affecting legislator behavior. The correlations we highlight between industry and union giving and legislative outcomes do not show that one caused the other, and we do not make this claim. We do make the claim, however, that campaign contributions bias our legislative system. Simply put, candidates who take positions contrary to industry interests are unlikely to receive industry funds and thus have fewer resources for their election campaigns than those whose votes favor industry interests.

About is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization based in Berkeley, California. Its search engine at illuminates the connection between Money And Politics (MAP) via a database of campaign contributions and legislative outcomes. Data sources include:; Center for Responsive Politics (; Federal Election Commission (FEC); and National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP). Support and opposition data is obtained through testimony at public hearings, proprietary news databases and public statements on the websites of trade associations and other groups. To learn more visit: If our work has been helpful to you, please consider supporting us.