What, exactly, is the price of power in Washington for some of the most influential lawmakers on Capitol Hill?
That’s the question Issue One’s new report seeks to answer, for readers and tens of millions of viewers around the country. Issue One Executive Director Nick Penniman and ReFormers Caucus Co-chair Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) interviewed on “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson,” a syndicated Sunday news program that airs across the U.S., to pull back the curtain on the hidden “party dues” system in Congress.
While the phrase “party dues” sounds innocuous, it is anything but. As elected representatives ascend through the ranks of leadership in Congress, they have to donate more money — and time — to their respective political parties. This means that the most dedicated legislators often spend less time studying policy, and more time raising millions of dollars every cycle for fellow lawmakers instead.
Put simply: Membership on the most powerful House committees such as Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, Ways and Means and Appropriations requires members to raise extra money for their respective parties.
Penniman and Wamp explain how and why the political parties hide the fundraising quotas from the public, and consequences facing current Representatives rebelling against this system.
Issue One’s Manager of Research, Investigations and Policy Analysis Michael Beckel also appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” to discuss how fundraising impacts Congress and answer viewer calls about potential solutions to the problem.