In December Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa sent letters to 142 organizations soliciting suggestions for regulations that were cumbersome and threatened jobs and company bottom lines. Those organizations included some of the biggest lobbying forces in Washington and, also, some of the bigger contributors to both Republicans and Democrats.
The 142 organizations combined to contribute $11.8 million to Republican candidates and $9.6 million to Democratic candidates through their respective political action committees in 2010. The biggest contributors to Republican candidates were the National Association of Home Builders with $1.285 million and the Associated Builder and Contractors Association with $1.174 million. Top contributors to Democrats included the Credit Union National Association withe $1.241 million and the American Hospital Association with $1.152 million.
Forty-two of the 142 organizations spent over $1 million lobbying in Washington in 2010. These included major lobbying forces like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($100.21 million), General Electric ($39.29 million), Generic Pharmaceutical Association ($18.581 million), American Hospital Association ($17.62 million), Edison Electric Institute ($13.08 million), ExxonMobil ($12.4 million), Business Roundtable ($8.794 million), and National Association of Manufacturers ($8.62 million).
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has asked all organizations that have received letters from Issa to disclose their responses to the Oversight Committee chairman. So far, fifty-six organizations have disclosed their responses to Issa's solicitation.
The Chamber of Commerce, the nation's biggest lobbying spender, also spent approximately $32 million on political advertising during the 2010 midterm election. The Chamber spent over $30 million on ads opposing Democrats and supporting Republicans and $1.8 million on supporting Democrats.
Forty-nine of the 142 organizations reported no PAC contributions and no lobbying expenses in 2010.
Below is a Socrata chart including all PAC contributions and lobbying numbers for the 142 organizations solicited for information from Chairman Issa. Data comes from both the Senate web site and the Center for Responsive Politics: