Political Party Time

Fundraisers already planned for Super Committee members

At least five members of the congressional Super Committee tasked with reducing the nation’s deficit are scheduled to hold or host fundraisers just as the panel will be beginning its work.

The lawmakers are Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who is co-chairing the panel, and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., along with Reps. James Clyburn, D-S.C., Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., and Dave Camp, R-Mich.

Murray, also the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, is set to host a reception on Sept. 13—just days before the deadline for the committee to hold its first meeting.

A few weeks later, as the panel continues meeting, the compromise-seeking chair of the Senate Finance Committee Max Baucus has planned a fundraiser for his re-election. The event is hosted by the influential National Association of Realtors, a group that would fiercely fight any attempt by the powerful panel to cut the mortgage tax deduction, which was proposed by the Senate’s ‘Gang of Six,’ another recent group working on deficit reduction.

The NAR has spent over $10 million lobbying this year alone, the seventh highest sum among all organizations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The association is the fourth highest political giver at the federal level since 1989, according to the CRP.

The 12-member committee has an unusual amount of power. Tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts, the panel has until before Thanksgiving to vote on a plan. If they agree to one, it would get fast-tracked through Congress—without the usual obstruction of procedural rules.

Clyburn, the House Assistant Minority Leader, is also headlining a fundraiser—benefiting Rep. Gabrille Giffords, D-Ariz.—just before the deadline for the panel's first meeting.  On Sept. 7, the day the House reconvenes, Becerra, who also serves in the House Leadership, is using a Washington Nationals game to raise money for his leadership PAC. On the same day, Camp has planned a moneymaker, as first reported by Time Magazine.

In addition to Murray, the September DSCC fundraiser is also hosted by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and other Senate Democrats. The autumn-themed event awards annual maxed-out donors (those giving $30,800 to the DSCC) with six tickets. Individual tickets can be had for $1,000.

That fundraiser is only one of a slew of fall events scheduled by the DSCC during the Super Committee’s deliberations. The group’s fall lineup includes at least six other fundraisers, and it’s not known if Murray will be attending any of those since very few details about the conference, retreat, brunch and other events are currently publicly known. Murray has headlined two other recent DSCC events, including one yesterday.