Almost 70 members of Congress co-sponsoring legislation for a massive tax holiday have received almost a million dollars in campaign contributions from the corporations that would benefit most.
Among the leading advocates for a bill that would allow the firms to pay cut-rate taxes on a trillion dollars these firms have stashed offshore is the WIN America campaign, a coalition of trade groups and companies like Apple, Pfizer and Google. An iWatch News analysis of campaign finance data has found that 68 of the 80 sponsors of the legislation in the House and Senate have received donations from WIN-affiliated companies since the start of 2009, taking in more than $940,000.
In addition to contributions to lawmakers, the WIN affiliates gave huge amounts to the two national political parties. The national committees for the Republicans got at least $576,000 while their Democratic counterparts collected at least $408,000 during this period.
For a select group of companies that would benefit most from the tax holiday, the stakes are high. When the holiday was granted once before, in 2004, some of the wealthiest corporations had their taxes cut by billions of dollars. Pfizer profited to the tune of $37 billion; Merck by $15.9 billion, Hewlett-Packard by $14.5 billion and IBM and Johnson & Johnson by some $10 billion each.
Given the number of tech firms that stand to benefit from the tax holiday, it is no surprise California Democrats with Silicon Valley connections are among the top recipients. Reps. Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren, who both claim part of Silicon Valley in their districts, are among the 11 Democrats to co-sponsor the House bill. They ranked first and second in funds received from WIN affiliates among co-sponsors of the bill, with Eshoo receiving more than ...