A nonpartisan research organization Saturday released figures indicating industries supporting the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact gave 8.6 times more money to current members of the House than industries opposed to the measure. Maplight.org, which compiles data about the sources of campaign contributions in U.S. presidential, congressional, state, and local ballot and candidate elections, released figures indicating industries supporting the pact gave $197.9 million to current lawmakers, compared to $23.1 million given by industries opposed to the measure.
The House Friday voted 302-126 against Trade Adjustment Assistance, a federal program that reduces the impact of imports on certain sectors of the U.S. economy, shattering President Barack Obama's hopes for quick passage of the TPP.
The Maplight figures indicate House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was the biggest recipient of the industries' largesse, receiving more than $5.3 million, compared to $83,651 from industries opposed to the TAA. Rounding out the top five were Republican Reps. Kevin McCarthy of California ($2.4 million vs. $20,500), Paul Ryan of Wisconsin ($2.3 million vs. $13,750) and Pat Tiberi of Ohio, ($1.65 million vs. $23,200), and Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. ($1.61 million vs. $232,750).
In his weekly address Saturday, Obama urged the House to reconsider TAA passage to provide "vital support, like job-training and community college education, to tens of thousands of American workers each year who were hurt by past trade deals."
Democrats blocked passage of the TAA, largely because labor groups oppose the overall trade agreement, fearing it will lead to further job losses in the United States.
“Now the president has some work to do yet in his party to complete this process. This isn’t over yet,” Ryan, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, said at an impromptu news conference after the vote, the Hill reported. “And we hope they can get together and make sure that we finish this, so America is back leading.”
(This story has been clarified)