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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Starting in January with the 112th Congress, Republicans will control the U.S. House of Representatives. And the chairmanships of all House committees. While the chairs have yet to be named, most of the favorites have financial ties to the industries they’ll be overseeing.
Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall-Genzer explains.
Nancy Marshall Genzer: The likely new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee is Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus. Bachus would replace Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, who co-wrote the financial reform law. Financial services companies are among Bachus’s biggest campaign donors, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Center researcher Josh Israel:
Josh Israel: They don’t necessarily have to fear him as much as they have feared Barney Frank.
Bachus has called for repealing parts of the financial overhaul. Israel says defense and oil companies gave campaign cash to other likely GOP chairs.
Columbia law professor Richard Briffault says political contributions don’t necessarily lead to legislation favoring donors. But they do buy access.
Richard Briffault: Access is the ability to tell your story. You can’t get anywhere unless you’re able to make your case.
Briffault stresses that corporations make their cases with donations to both parties. But the party in power usually gets more.
In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.