“New Congress, Same ‘Committee Tax:’ How the parties pressured legislative leaders to raise huge sums of campaign cash during the 116th Congress — and are poised to do so again this year”

Updated report from Issue One:

One of the open secrets of Washington is that both the Democratic and Republican parties strong-arm influential legislators to raise astronomical amounts of campaign cash. Referred to as paying “party dues,” lawmakers are pressured to transfer huge sums from their campaigns and affiliated PACs to the parties as well as spend countless hours “dialing for dollars” to raise six- and seven-figure amounts for the parties, often by soliciting corporations, labor unions, and other special interests that have business before Congress.

These fundraising demands have morphed into a “committee tax” levied
by the political parties onto legislators. The more influential the role in
Congress, the more money party leaders expect legislators to raise, with
committee chairs being expected to raise more funds than other members of their caucus. This is especially true for the chairs of the most powerful committees in the U.S. House of Representatives — the Appropriations, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, and Ways and Means Committees, which are sometimes referred to as “A” committees for their prestige and influence.

In fact, according to a new analysis of campaign finance filings by Issue One, approximately $1 of every $5 spent during the 2019-2020 election cycle by several of the top Democratic and Republican lawmakers on these exclusive “A” committees were simply transfers to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

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