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Report Looks at the Money Behind Congressional Leaders

5 years ago
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Three of the four most powerful members of Congress may not always be on the same page politically, but they have one thing in common: each receives money from AT&T, their biggest financial backer, according to a new analysis by the Center for Public Integrity.

Over the past 30 years, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner together have taken more than $525,000 in campaign cash over their careers from AT&T and its subsidiaries, according to the report, titled "Who Bankrolls Congress?".

The watchdog group looked at the money behind those three men and also House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and found some trends among party lines.

Democrats Reid and Pelosi rely heavily on trial lawyers and labor unions for financial backing. Those interests make up eight of the top ten supporters of Pelosi's political action committee and five of Reid's. Meanwhile, only one labor union made Boehner's top ten and none were on McConnell's.

The two Republicans took most of their money from corporations and trade groups. All ten top McConnell donors represented those interests and nine out of Boehner's top ten did, compared with five for Reid and just two for Pelosi.

The financial services industry hedges its bets with bipartisan donations. A PAC affiliated with JPMorgan Chase was on the top ten lists of three of the four leaders, while Bank of America showed up on two. The industry's American Bankers Association was also listed on two of the four ledgers.

The complete analysis, which looked at three decades' worth of finance reports from the current congressional leadership, can be read here.

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