"12 really large checks"

"12 really large checks"

That’s how a lobbyist was quoted in a news story describing how he was preparing for the 12-member congressional deficit committee that will be charged with finding further ways to reduce the deficit.

Clearly this committee, that some are calling the “Super Congress,” will come under intense pressure by wealthy corporate interests and their lobbyists representing big banks, defense contractors, and polluters to leave their special tax loopholes, unwarranted subsidies, and wasteful programs untouched. Ordinary Americans, who can’t shower these members with campaign cash or come at them with a team of lobbyists, will be left vulnerable to shoulder even more of the burden.

That’s why Public Campaign, along with dozens of organizations, including Campaign for America’s Future, Common Cause, Public Citizen, and U.S. Action have sent an open letter to members of Congress urging them to cease all fundraising for the duration of the committee, and provide full transparency on any meetings with outside groups or individuals regarding the committee’s work, including meetings with lobbyists, corporate CEOs, or donors.

Millions of Americans are unemployed. Millions more are struggling to feed their families, pay medical bills, and keep a roof over their heads. Oil companies have just announced another quarter of huge profits and Wall Street firms continue to fight the implementation of common sense regulations that hold their greed in check.

Ordinary Americans cannot afford another deal that asks them to make greater sacrifices while big money interests come away scot-free. We need the Super Congress to look out for the needs of struggling families, not big money campaign donors and corporate interests.

There is only one way we can assure that this committee is working for the American people and not corporate and special interests. And that is to take away the temptation to protect the wealthy interests that will write campaign checks and send scores of lobbyists to remind them where their bread is buttered.

Regular Americans are suffering enough already. The super wealthy and corporations haven’t been asked to bear any of the burden during this deficit crisis. A big reason for that is their ability to sway members of Congress with campaign checks and scores of lobbyists. They can afford to do it. The American people cannot afford to let it happen again.

In addition to the open letter, we also have a petition for people to sign asking their members of Congress to urge the members of the Super Congress to adhere to the demands outlined in the open letter.