The Interest Groups Behind Five New Congressional Power Brokers


Photo credit: Archivio J. Lange/ Getty Images 

January 10, 2017 -- With the 115th Congress officially in session, five key committees have new leaders. Committee chairs wield considerable influence over policymaking, not only by helping to draft and revise legislation, but also by deciding which bills receive a hearing. Below is a MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to the five new committee chairs by industry and by company, including corporate PACs and employees of those firms.

Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
The committee has jurisdiction over insurance, financial markets, securities, banking, economic policy, mass transit, housing, and other areas related to financial regulation and urban development.

John Barrasso (R-WY)
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
The committee oversees all legislation concerning infrastructure, environmental regulation and conservation.   

Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
House Committee on Appropriations
The committee is responsible for deciding how the U.S. government spends taxpayer dollars. It is one of the most powerful committees in Congress, guiding the creation of the nation’s nearly $4 trillion annual budget.

Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
House Committee on Education and the Workforce
The committee oversees policies related to students and workers, including regulations regarding overtime and the minimum wage, higher education, and charter schools.

Greg Walden (R-OR)
House Energy and Commerce Committee
According to its website, the committee “is vested with the broadest jurisdiction of any congressional authorizing committee,” overseeing telecommunications, food and drug safety, public health research, commerce, and energy policy.

Methodology: MapLight analysis of contributions from OpenSecrets.org. The data includes contributions received during the last six years of available data (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2016) for Senators and the last two years of available data (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016) for Representatives.

About MapLight:
MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that tracks money in politics. More information about MapLight can be found here.

Media Contact:
Alec Saslow
t: (720) 319-4948
e: alec@maplight.org