Among the casualties in the Republican debacle of 2006 was Rep. Rick Santorum, the No. 3 member of the Republican caucus. In the House, that defeat was accompanied by the losses of Rep. Melissa Hart, R-McCandless, a member of the Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Don Sherwood, R-Luzerne, who sat on the Appropriations Committee. Most of the 21 committees of the House can play important, high-profile roles in shaping legislation. The Transportation Committees of the two chambers, for example, will be in particular focus this year, and the nation's omnibus transportation legislation is due to be reauthorized. But in the House, the most coveted seats are on Appropriations, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce. Ways and Means has jurisdiction over tax policy. As its name suggests, Energy and Commerce has perhaps the most wide-ranging jurisdiction of any House panel. And Appropriations has the final say over spending levels for programs authorized in legislation shaped by other committees. Appropriations is also the traditional arbiter of the congressional earmarks, the target of criticism from sources as varied as the tea party movement and the co-chairs of the president's deficit commission. The prospect of the scaling back or complete elimination of earmarks raises the possibility that the prestigious panel may lose some of its traditional luster.
Appropriations is powerful – controls the budget
Mulligan 11 (John, writer of Providence Journal Washington Bureau, 2/4/11, http://newsblog.projo.com/2011/02/reeds-new-post-gives-him-added.html) JPG
Sen. Jack Reed has secured another plum assignment, with happy implications for Rhode Island's defense industry. The Senate Appropriations Committee announced its new lineup Friday, with Reed assigned to the powerful spending panel's subcommittee on defense. Rhode Island Democrat Reed, a longtime member of the full committee, had already been slated to win his first chairmanship of one of its subcommittees -- on the interior, environment and other federal agencies. That became official with Friday's announcement of appropriations assignments. Now Reed has also joined the 19-member defense spending panel. That significantly elevates his clout in the military sector because the appropriations subcommittees are where most of the crucial detail work is done every year on affixing dollar sums to the myriad programs in the federal government.
Link Turn – Politics – Nuclear Lobby
Nuclear lobby ensures support for the plan Grossman 8 (Karl, prof of journalism at the State U of New York, Jan-Feb, [www.karlgrossman.com/Articles.htm] AD: 7-7-11, jam)
The atomic power corporations are beating on the doors in Washington to make you guarantee their financing for more giant nuclear plants. They are pouring money and applying political muscle to Congress for up to $50 billion in loan guarantees to persuade an uninterested Wall Street that Uncle Sam will pay for any defaults on industry construction loans. . . . Theatomic power industry does not give up. Not as long as Uncle Sam can be dragooned to be its subsidizing, immunizing partner. Ever since the first of 100 plants opened in 1957, corporate socialism has fed this insatiable atomic goliath with many types of subsidies. Massive support from nuclear lobbies Grossman 5 (Karl, prof of journalism at the State U of New York, Jul 11, [www.space4peace.org/articles/fire_in_the_sky.htm] AD: 7-7-11, jam)
Then why the push for space nuclear power?It's coming from a combination of interests. As "Deep Throat" instructed Bob Woodward in the Watergate investigation: "Follow the money." Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the plutonium-238 space systems, lobbies heavily for them. Both Lockheed Martin andBoeingwant the business of building nuclear-propelled rockets under Project Prometheus and push hard for them. Then there are the national laboratories—including Idaho National Laboratory—promoting space nuclear power. It's a way to increase their budgets.
Politics Internal – Nuclear Lobbies Key
The nuclear lobby controls key members of congress – assumes their link turns
Facing its biggest crisis in 25 years, the U.S. nuclear power industry can count on plenty of Democratic and Republican friends in both high and low places. During the past election cycle alone, the Nuclear Energy Institute and more than a dozen companies with big nuclear portfolios have spent tens of millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions to lawmakers in key leadership slots and across influential state delegations. The donations and lobbying funds came at a critical moment for the nuclear industry as its largest trade group and major companies pushed for passage of a cap-and-trade bill. While that effort failed, the money is sure to keep doors open on Capitol Hillas lawmakers consider any response to the safety issues highlighted by multiple nuclear reactor meltdowns in Japan in the aftermath of last week’s monster earthquake and tsunami. “The bottom line is you’ve got a variety of industrial interests that care about nuclear power and have a heck of a lot of money to spend if their business and their bottom line is put inpolitical jeopardy,” said Dave Levinthal, communications director at the Center for Responsive Politics. “As Congress is talking about potentially diving deeper, these companies bring a lot of resources and a heck of a lot of cash to bear if this fight goes forward.” NEI, the industry’s biggest voice in Washington, for example, spent $3.76 million to lobby the federal government and an additional $323,000 through its political action committee on a bipartisan congressional slate, including 134 House and 30 Senate candidates, according to data compiled by the CRP. Alex Flint, NEI’s senior vice president for government affairs, said the spending is a byproduct of record high demand for his industry. “The fact that the day after the election, both the president and [House Speaker John Boehner] said nuclear was an area where it’s something they can agree, it’s made us that much more in demand,” Flint said. “Our lobbying expenses have gone up more in large part because we have more people talking to more members of Congress.” Nearly all of the investor-owned power companies that operate U.S. nuclear reactors play in the donation game. Exelon, the owner of the nation’s largest nuclear fleet, gave nearly $515,000 during the 2009-10 election cycle. The company contributed tomore Democrats than Republicans (58 percent to 40 percent), though it made sure to cover all of the key bases. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) got the $10,000 limit from Exelon for primary and general election fights, while California Rep. Henry Waxman’s campaign account received $5,000.
Pro-nuclear lobbysists control the Chairman of the energy and power sub-committee
“I can’t even name the companies I’ve received checks from, but, in my view, nuclear power is essential; we have to have it to meet our demand, that it’s an industry that over time has been safe,” said House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), who took $4,000 from Duke, $2,000 from Southern Co. and $2,000 from Exelon. Brown said he wasn’t aware of his donations from Duke. “I’ve never been pro-nuke anyway,” he said. “I think we need to look at what our nuclear power plants are able to withstand and where they are. I think this does make us think again about how safe nuclear power is.”
Nuclear lobbysist control Obama and capitol hill – they’ve got the bucks
Jungjohann 11 (Arne, program director for Environment and Global Dialogue with the Heinrich Boll Foundation, 6/1/11, http://www.grist.org/nuclear/2011-06-01-nuclear-industry-has-powerful-backers-weak-opponents) JPG
The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) is the lobby association for the entire process chain of the nuclear industry in the U.S., from uranium mining to the manufacture of the reactors and the supply of nuclear fuel, all the way to nuclear power production. Its lobbyists are well-connected in the Obama administration and on Capitol Hill. In the last midterm and off-year election campaign cycle, politicians of both parties received approximately $4 million from the NEI. In order to boost public acceptance, shiny ad campaigns, such as those of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, filled the airwaves. This greenwashing by the NEI has repeatedly crossed the border of the permissible, and has been criticized by environmental and social organizations. The NEI PR staff even draftsopinion pieces which are sent to nuclear engineers across the country, tobe signed and submitted to local newspapers. In addition to the umbrella lobby, the majornuclear power plant operators and corporations to which they belong also play an important role. In the last election campaign, they, together with the NEI, spent sums for lobbying and campaign contributions that went into the double-digit millions. Chief beneficiaries of this largess were Congress members from the states where their corporate headquarters are located, as well as committee heads and members of the caucus leaderships. Contributions of up to $10,000 to each individual Congress member are legal.