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PRESS
May 16, 2014

Report: Ways and Means Committee Members Received Big Donations During Tax Reform Debate

Capitol Building PayoffsWashington, D.C. — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today released Return on Investment, a report regarding the 10 companies and trade associations that made the greatest campaign contributions to House Ways and Means Committee members while Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) crafted his comprehensive tax reform proposal.

Read CREW’s new report, “Return on Investment.”

From 2011-2013, the top 10 contributors gave $5.8 million to committee members. Contributions increased 32 percent during the same period, going from $1.65 million in 2011 to $2.18 million in 2013.

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, "Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy tax breaks. High-level donors are paying for access and lower taxes, while average Americans are left out in the cold.”

Unsurprisingly, corporations and trade associations comprised the top 10 contributors. Some, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and General Electric, have come under scrutiny for tax avoidance schemes, while others, such as Honeywell, are run by CEOs advocating for effective corporate tax rates of zero percent.

The top contributors to Ways and Means Committee members:

  • New York Life Insurance Co., one of the nation's largest life insurance and retirement planning companies, donated $693,025.
  • Honeywell, an energy and technology conglomerate, contributed $689,240.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the world’s largest corporate accounting firms, gave $593,150.
  • National Beer Wholesalers Association donated $590,500.
  • Investment Company Institute, the national association of U.S. investment companies, contributed $560,350.
  • United Parcel Service gave $551,438.
  • American College of Radiology Association donated $542,000.
  • Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America donated $539,540.
  • General Electric Co. contributed $526,700.
  • National Multifamily Housing Council, a trade association representing the nation’s apartment industry, gave $510,000.

The Ways and Means Committee members who received the most from these groups:

  • Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) received $373,599.
  • Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) received $348,000.
  • Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) received $270,304.
  • Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) received $258,555.
  • Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) received $230,753.

Republicans hold 23 seats on the 39-member committee and received 64 percent of the donations from the top 10 contributing companies.

“Tax reform may be dead, but the proposals in Rep. Camp’s draft will have a half-life. These donors know how important it is to make sure lawmakers hear their concerns and money has a very loud voice,” Sloan added.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit www.citizensforethics.org or contact Jordan Libowitz at 202.408.5565 or jlibowitz@citizensforethics.org.

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