NEWS

House Passes Bill to Resume Gulf Coast Drilling

Chad Outler | May 06, 2011

May 6, 2011 -- The House of Representatives voted Thursday to pass HR 1230, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act, by a margin of 266-149. The bill is part of a suite of three bills called the American Energy Initiative that were introduced by House Republicans and are aimed at reversing the Obama administration's decision to impose a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010. The other two bills are HR 1229, Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act and HR 1231, Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act. Below is a MapLight analysis of publicly stated support and opposition of HR 1230 using contribution and industry classifications established by the Center for Responsive Politics.

  • Interest groups that opposed this motion (Environmental Policy, Health & Welfare Policy, etc.) gave 173% more to House members that voted NO than to House members that voted YES
  • Interest groups that supported this motion (Multinational oil & gas producers, Chambers of commerce, etc.) gave 6.8 times as much to House members that voted YES than to House members that voted NO

Members who voted for the measure, including 233 Republicans and 33 Democrats, received an average of $62,413 in total contributions connected to supporting interest groups and only $3,628 in contributions connected to opposing interest groups. House members who voted against the measure, including 147 Democrats and only 2 Republicans, received an average of $9,917 in contributions connected to interest groups opposing the bill, compared to $9,140 in contributions connected to interest groups supporting the bill. 

Amongst Republicans, Rep. Michele Bachmann was the recipient of the highest total contributions from supporting interest groups, with a total of $557,397. House Speaker John Boehner received the second highest amount at $435,300. The third highest Republican recipient of contributions from supporting interest groups was Rep. Allen West, with $373,721. Reps. Bachmann and West both voted to pass the bill. As is customary for the Speaker, Rep. Boehner did not vote on the bill.

Amongst Democrats, Rep. Dan Boren was the recipient of the highest contribution amount from supporting interest groups, with a total of $217,250. Rep. Mike Ross received the second highest amount at $193,900. The third highest Democratic recipient of contributions from supporting interest groups was Jim Matheson with $120,450. All three of these Democrats voted yes.

Methodology: Includes reported contributions to congressional campaigns of House members in office on day of vote, from interest groups invested in the vote according to MapLight, January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2010. Contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org). Legislative data from GovTrack.us.

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