Groups to Deficit “Super” Committee: Stop Fundraising, Provide Full Transparency

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  • Dale Eisman

Washington, D.C.-Two dozen public interest, faith-based, consumer, and political reform organizations released an open letter to Congress today demanding that members of the newly-established joint congressional committee on the deficit agree to stop all political fundraising as they conduct their work and provide complete transparency of meetings with outside parties.

From the letter:

Now, just a dozen members of the U.S. House and Senate will be in charge of proposing deficit-closing measures. These 12 members will come under intense pressure by wealthy corporate interests and their lobbyists to leave their special tax loopholes, unwarranted subsidies, and wasteful programs untouched.

Americans have lost faith and trust in Washington because they believe corporate CEOs and lobbyists call the shots. Rebuilding that faith will take actions, not words. That’s why we urge every member appointed to this committee to take a clear two-part pledge to help restore trust and confidence in Washington.

The groups demand that appointed committee members:

1) Cease all political fundraising for themselves, their party, or for other candidates; and

2) Provide full transparency on any meetings with outside groups or individuals regarding the committee’s work, including meetings with lobbyists, corporate CEOs, or donors.

The debt-ceiling package passed by Congress includes the creation of a bipartisan committee of six House members and six Senators to create a deficit reduction plan. Many news sources have already reported that lobbyists are “gearing up” for the commission to ensure their clients’ voices are heard.

The letter was organized by campaign finance watchdog Public Campaign, and has been signed by Alliance for a Just Society, Brave New Films, Campaign for America’s Future, Common Cause, CREDO Mobile, Center for Community Change, ColorOfChange, Democracy Matters, Demos, Energy Action Coalition, Fix Congress First, Health Care for America Now, Political Action, National People’s Action, New Bottom Line Campaign, Oil Change International, PICO National Network, Progress Now, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressives United, Public Citizen, Rethink Afghanistan, U.S. Action, and Voices of Progress.

Once members of Congress have been appointed to the joint committee, many of these organizations, along with other national, state, and local groups, will follow up with individual campaigns to urge them to take the pledge to end fundraising and provide full transparency.

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