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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/1/15

Corporations Bought Senate "Yay" Votes in TPA

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Message Paola Masman

Money in Politics
Money in Politics
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Many think our government is for sale. By taking a look at the facts provided by the Federal Election Commission, it is easy to understand where they are coming from.

Looking back just a few weeks ago, the Senate voted on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the controversial bill that gives power to the executive branch to negotiate treaties. Fast Track/TPA limit's Congress' ability to better a trade deal by subjecting members of Congress to 90 days of reviewing the trade agreement, prohibiting any amendments on the implementing legislation, and giving them an up or down vote. The first round began early in May when TPA was blocked. Many Democrats stood together, a rare picture, and voted against TPA from even being debated. However, 48 hours later, and the TPA bill came back and passed cloture. What happened in those 48 hours that changed the minds of those opponents so easily?

Corporate members of the U.S. Business Coalition for TPP rushed to the Senate side and started handing out money left and right for "yea" votes. A total of $1,148,971 dollars were given to Senators for "yea" votes.

  • Out of the total $1,148,971 given, an average of $17,676.48 was donated to each of the 65 "yea" votes.
  • The average Republican member received $19,673.28 from corporate TPP supporters.
  • The average Democrat received $9,689.23 from those same donors.

However when we start seeing the numbers from each individual Senator, we find even more shocking results.

  • Bennet, Murray, and Wyden -- all running for re-election in 2016 -- received $105,900 between the three of them.
  • Senator Rob Portman of Ohio received $119,700 from 14 different corporations
  • Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia received $102,500 in corporate contributions.
  • Arizona senator and former presidential candidate John McCain received $51,700 in the first quarter of 2015.

Those numbers are absolutely staggering. Corporations are taking control of what policies are approved or blocked in the U.S. We cannot sit around while corporations decide what is "good" for America or not! This is a democracy, not a plutocracy! Contact your representatives and let them know that you do not want them to vote in favor of TPA!

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Paola Casale is a graduate of Otterbein University. She works for The Coalition for a Prosperous America as the Media Director who is in charge of overseeing that hidden news is uncovered. Paola meets with members of Congress in D.C. to discuss (more...)

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