Spotlight on Congress

MapLight research on the influence of money and politics in U.S. Congress.

On CISPA, Privacy Advocates Fight While Tech Companies Stay Silent

Charles Haynes and Jason McELweenie/Wikimedia Commons

April 11, 2013On Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee marked up and approved CISPA, a cybersecurity bill that has drawn intense opposition from the same Internet rights organizations that led last year’s fight against SOPA.

Both bills have had bipartisan support in Congress, but there is one key difference in the landscape of political influence around them: several high-contributing companies that were vocal opponents of SOPA have not expressed opposition to CISPA.

Who are these companies and how much money have they given to members of Congress?

Top 4 Banks Contribute 7 Times as Much to Reps Voting Yes on Derivatives Bill

emin kuliyev/Shutterstock

April 3, 2013A bill that, according to financial reform advocates, would allow banks to keep their publicly-funded backing for almost all of their derivatives activity was approved by the House Agriculture Committee was approved by a bipartisan vote of 31-14.

How much did committee members voting in favor of the bill receive from the biggest banks?

"Too Big to Jail" Banks Are Bankrolling Congress

Michael Fleshman/Flickr

April 3, 2013Attorney General Eric Holder recently told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the size of big banks has "an inhibiting influence" on the government's ability to prosecute their criminal activity. By facilitating deregulation, bailing out insolvent institutions, and voting against limits on bank size, Congress has allowed these banks to grow as big as they currently are.

How much have the biggest banks contributed to members of Congress?

Why is the Agriculture Committee Deregulating Financial Derivatives?


March 29, 2013The House Agriculture Committee debated and passed seven bills designed to roll back derivatives regulations that were created by Congress three years ago in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.

The top four commercial banks—Bank of America, Goldman Sachs Bank, Citibank and JPMorgan Chase Bank—account for 93.2% of the derivative contracts held for trading.

How much have these banks contributed to members of the Agriculture Committee?

GMO Supporters Reap What They Sow in Government Funding Bill

Lori Sparkia/

March 21, 2013Proponents of genetically modified agriculture have just won a major victory in Congress. A rider included in the 2013 continuing resolution stripped federal courts of their power to restrict the use of genetically modified crops, the only legal tool environmental advocates had for slowing down or stopping the use of new genetically modified crops.

How much money have key supporters of genetically modified agriculture given to members of Congress?