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Report: Ag. Sector Has Donated Millions to SupComm Members Over Decade Report: Ag. Sector Has Donated Millions to SupComm Members Over Decade

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Report: Ag. Sector Has Donated Millions to SupComm Members Over Decade

The agricultural sector donated $3.7 million to the 12 lawmakers on the Super Committee between Jan. 1, 2001 and June 30, 2011, according to a report from MapLight, an organization that tracks money in politics.

Numbers for the time period since the lawmakers were appointed to the committee that is charged with cutting over $1 trillion from the federal budget have not been released, but the statistics show that the agriculture sector has given enough to the committee's members over time that it could influence the panel's decisions, said Jeff ErnstFriedman, MapLight's research director.

In the time period, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) received $59,850 from the agriculture sector; Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) $412,553; Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) $105,400; Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) $281,800; Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) $216,266; and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) $86,500, according to MapLight's report.

On the Senate side, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) took in $317,159; Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) $156,096; Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) $286,450; Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) $865,038; Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) $356,734; and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) $589,511, MapLight found.

Those contributions, however, pale in comparison to the amount the sector has donated to lawmakers on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees over the same time period. The crop production piece of the sector alone gave $3.8 million to members of the Ag Committees from January 2001 through June 2011, according to MapLight, which is more than the $3.7 million the entire sector gave to the 12 members of the Super Committee (although some of those lawmakers were not in Congress until later in the time period).

An earlier report by Common Cause and the Center for International Policy showed that the defense industry has also contributed greatly to members of the Super Committee, providing that sector with clout ahead of the Super Committee's decision.

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