As Tax Reform Enters the Debt Ceiling Debate, A Look at Top Contributors to Key Lawmakers

September 25, 2013—Republican leadership in the House of Representatives have bolstered the prospects of a major tax code overhaul proposal from Senator Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Representative Dave Camp, R-Mich., by suggesting that it be linked to legislation to lift the nation's debt limit. Since raising the debt ceiling is necessary to prevent the government from defaulting on its obligations, if language relating to tax reform is attached to the debt vote, Baucus and Camp would have a tremendous amount of influence over determining which businesses and activities get lower tax rates or special exemptions from the federal government.

Over the years, the campaigns of Baucus and Camp have received millions of dollars from a wide range of industries—many of which would have major tax breaks at stake in the overhaul. Any tax reform legislation in Congress would be highly shaped by the tax-writing committees that Baucus and Camp chair. Here's a look at which industries have given them the most.

Data: MapLight analysis of top combined campaign contributions to Senator Max Baucus and Representative Dave Camp, from January 1, 2001—December 31, 2012. Data source: OpenSecrets.org

Rank Interest Camp Baucus Totals
1 Attorneys & law firms $291,183 $1,066,192 $1,357,375
2 Lobbyists & public relations $472,793 $756,496 $1,229,289
3 Other physician specialists $485,436 $429,999 $915,435
4 Security brokers & investment companies $257,750 $550,503 $808,253
5 Insurance companies, brokers, & agents $281,297 $483,585 $764,882
6 Pharmaceutical manufacturing $350,745 $402,720 $753,465
7 Life insurance $345,939 $390,150 $736,089
8 Commercial banks & bank holding companies $321,800 $339,407 $661,207
9 Gas & electric utilities $249,677 $269,850 $519,527
10 Hospitals $179,201 $322,245 $501,446
11 Medical supplies manufacturing & sales $209,252 $233,584 $442,836
12 Retired $154,134 $261,242 $415,376
13 Real estate developers & subdividers $137,975 $237,672 $375,647
14 HMOs $165,600 $209,850 $375,450
15 Private equity & investment firms $117,650 $239,569 $357,219
16 Investment banking $134,100 $211,350 $345,450
17 Physicians $160,368 $183,532 $343,900
18 Accountants $168,693 $168,631 $337,324
19 Accident & health insurance $171,823 $159,049 $330,872
20 Electric Power utilities $132,695 $195,140 $327,835

About MapLight: MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that reveals money's influence on politics. If our work has been helpful to you, please consider supporting us.

Image credit: Frank Balsinger/Flickr