The investigation did find that there is a widespread perception among corporations and lobbyists that campaign contributions provide enhanced access to Members or greater chance of obtaining earmarks, the report concludes. However, the record indicates that Members, by and large, take great care to separate their official and campaign functions, particularly with respect to earmark requests.
The OCE investigations of the seven appropriators only reached back to 2008 because of statutory limits on the OCEs authority.
It is not clear how much further the ethics committee investigated.
The OCE also pointed out that it does not have the authority to issue subpoenas and was unable to obtain documents in the possession of PMA.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.