Spotlight on Congress

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

Sponsors of SOPA Act Pulled in 4 Times as Much in Contributions from Hollywood as from Silicon Valley

Dec. 19, 2011 - The House Judiciary Committee on December 15 held a markup of the so-called SOPA Act (HR 3261), a bill that has produced surprising allegiances and adversaries and has pit some of California's most powerful business interests against each other.

Interest Groups Try to Catch Payroll Tax Wave

Dec 14, 2011 - The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a payroll tax bill (HR 3630) that includes a wide variety of policy riders designed to force a showdown with Senate Democrats and President Obama. The goal is to make Democrats choose between the issues they endorse and others the President has previously threatened to veto.

See MapLight's breakdown of the interests supporting and opposing the bill's various provisions.

House Passes Bill Striking Preemptively at EPA's Regulation of Farm Dust

Dec. 8, 2011 - The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill (HR 1633) that would establish a temporary prohibition against revising any national ambient air quality standard applicable to coarse particulate matter in order to limit federal regulation of "nuisance dust" in areas in which such dust is regulated under state, tribal, or local law.

House Passes Bill Requiring Congressional Approval of Federal Regulations 'Costing' Over $100 Million

Dec 7, 2011 - The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill known as the REINS Act (HR 10) that would rewrite provisions regarding congressional review of agency rulemaking to require congressional approval of major rules of the executive branch before they may take effect.

  • Interest groups that supported this motion gave on average 3.8 times as much to House members who voted 'YES' ($81,450) as they gave to House members who voted 'NO' ($21,647).
  • Interest groups that opposed this motion gave on average 8.1 times as much to House members who voted 'NO' ($140,975) as they gave to House members who voted 'YES' ($17,474).

House Passes Bill Easing Sharing of Video Rental Information

December 7, 2011 - The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill (HR 2471) that would amend the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988 to ease restrictions on sharing of video rental information. The bill is supported by Facebook, Netflix, the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Digital Media Association. The measure is opposed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.