Embattled House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) was the top recipient of bundled campaign contributions from lobbyists during the third fundraising quarter of this year, new reports show. According to Federal Election Commission reports filed after Thursdays deadline, Rangel received roughly $125,000 in combined campaign contributions from the McPherson Groups John Kelly, New York-based Constantinople & Vallone Consulting and trade group Employee-Owned S Corporations of America. Kelly delivered $22,100 worth of campaign gifts to Rangel during the third quarter, while Constantinople & Vallone bundled $83,289. The Employee-Owned S Corporations of America handed over checks to Rangels re-election committee totaling $19,500.Under new FEC rules, Rangel was one of a dozen lawmakers who filed paperwork last week disclosing lobbyists who directed more than $16,000 in contributions to their political accounts.Using preliminary FEC data late last week, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) was the third quarters No. 1 recipient, appearing to rake in nearly $120,000 from three lobbyists. But Hensarlings campaign later clarified that the lawmakers third-quarter bundling total actually was considerably lower: $39,250.Rangels apparent popularity on K Street comes as the tax panel chairman continues to weather House ethics investigations into his personal finances. Other big third-quarter bundling recipients in the House include New Democrat Coalition Chairman Joe Crowley (N.Y.), Natural Resources Chairman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) and Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.). Crowley received $23,000 in bundled gifts from AT&Ts political action committee, while Conyers was feted with nearly $30,000 worth of contributions by Bryan Cave lobbyist Broderick Johnson. During the third quarter, Alcalde & Fay lobbyist Paul Schlesinger bundled $18,500 worth of campaign contributions for Rahall.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.