DATA RELEASE: House Passes Mining Company Land Swap Bill Favoring Foreign-Based Rio Tinto

House Passes Mining Company Land Swap Bill Favoring Foreign-Based Rio Tinto

Oct. 27, 2011 - The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill (HR 1904) that would swap federal land in Arizona with Resolution Copper Mining, a company owned jointly by Rio Tinto (55%) and BHP Billiton (45%). Resoluton Copper is hoping to gain greater access to its mining claim, which is considered the largest undeveloped copper deposit in North America and the third largest in the world.

The measure is supported by building, mining, pro-business, and conservative ideological groups such as the American Supply Association, the Associated General Contractors of America, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Mining Association, Rio Tinto, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, and Americans for Prosperity. The measure is opposed by environmental policy groups such as the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition and the Sierra Club. Groups representing Native Americans are split in their support and opposition.

The measure passed by a vote of 235-186, with only seven Democrats joining 228 Republicans in voting for passage and only 8 Republicans joining 178 Democrats in voting against the measure.

All House members

  • Mining and Metal mining & processing interest groups gave on average 5.3 times as much to House members who voted 'YES' ($3,911) as they gave to House members who voted 'NO' ($735).
  • Environmental policy interest groups gave on average 5.8 times as much to House members who voted 'NO' ($4,538) as they gave to House members who voted 'YES' ($787).

House Republicans

  • Mining and Metal mining & processing interest groups gave on average 22 times as much to House Republicans who voted 'YES' ($3,874) as they gave to House Republicans who voted 'NO' ($175).
  • Environmental policy interest groups gave on average 2.6 times as much to House Republicans who voted 'NO' ($2,034) as they gave to House Republicans who voted 'YES' ($788).

House Democrats

  • Mining and Metal mining & processing interest groups gave on average 6.7 times as much to House Democrats who voted 'YES' ($5,107) as they gave to House Democrats who voted 'NO' ($760).
  • Environmental policy interest groups gave on average 6.4 times as much to House Democrats who voted 'NO' ($4,650) as they gave to House Democrats who voted 'YES' ($729).

To see a full breakdown of money/votes by industry, click here.

METHODOLOGY: MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to House members in office during the 112th U.S. Congress, from interest groups invested in the vote according to MapLight, July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2011. Contributions data source: OpenSecrets.org

A link to this data can be found here.

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