Closed to Public, Supercommittee Open to Lobbyists

By:  Michael Tennant
10/04/2011
       
Closed to Public, Supercommittee Open to Lobbyists

The 12-member congressional supercommittee created by the August debt-ceiling deal is tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in cuts to the federal budget over the next decade. With that kind of money on the line, was there ever any doubt that lobbyists would come knocking on the committee’s door?

In fact, says the Washington Post, “nearly 100 registered lobbyists who used to work for members of the supercommittee are now representing defense companies, health-care conglomerates, Wall Street banks and others with a vested interest in the outcome of the panel’s work.” In addition, writes the paper, half the members of the committee — three Democrats and three Republicans — “also employ former lobbyists on their staffs.”

Furthermore, notes Poltico, while the supercommittee “has met more frequently in secret than publicly and has rejected calls to disclose its donors and post its documents online,” lobbyists are having relatively little difficulty finding out what’s going on behind closed doors.

The 12-member congressional supercommittee created by the August debt-ceiling deal is tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in cuts to the federal budget over the next decade. With that kind of money on the line, was there ever any doubt that lobbyists would come knocking on the committee’s door?

In fact, says the Washington Post, “nearly 100 registered lobbyists who used to work for members of the supercommittee are now representing defense companies, health-care conglomerates, Wall Street banks and others with a vested interest in the outcome of the panel’s work.” In addition, writes the paper, half the members of the committee — three Democrats and three Republicans — “also employ former lobbyists on their staffs.”

Furthermore, notes Poltico, while the supercommittee “has met more frequently in secret than publicly and has rejected calls to disclose its donors and post its documents online,” lobbyists are having relatively little difficulty finding out what’s going on behind closed doors.

Click here to read the entire article.

Photo: AP Images

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