GOP budget cuts hit Democratic campaign cash sources hard 

There are at least two ways of looking at the fact the $2.5 trillion in spending cuts proposed last week by leaders of the House Republican Study Committee will hurt one of the biggest sources of Democratic campaign cash.

Among the proposals, which you can read about here, is a federal pay freeze and a 15 percent reduction in the federal workforce through attrition. If the proposal becomes law, it will freeze the income of hundreds of thousands of government employee unions and significant reduce the number of dues-paying members of those unions.

To appreciate just how big an impact the proposed cuts would have on Democratic campaign funding, MAPLight breaks out the numbers:

"A look at campaign contributions to current members of Congress shows that federal employee unions heavily favored Democrat lawmakers when handing out campaign contributions. Democrats from both chambers combined have enjoyed a healthy 4-to-1 margin over their Republican counterparts since 2001."

The federal employee unions gave nearly $5 million to Democratic House and Senate candidates between 2001 and the 2010 campaign, according to data cited by MAPLight from the Center for Responsive Politics compared to just over $1 million to Republicans.

In other words, Democrats got 82 percent of the campaign cash contributed by federal employee unions.

MAPLight points to another interesting aspect of this question, noting that contributions from defense industry firms are almost evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, though with a slight tilt in favor of the latter.

Since 2001, defense firms contributed more than $23.5 million to Republican incumbents, compared to just over $21.2 million to Democrats, a 52-47 percent division between the two parties.

Defense industry contributions are not infrequently assumed to be tilted very much in favor of Republicans who consistently more solidly in favor of bigger defense budgets than do Democrats.

For more from MAPLight on these numbers, go here.

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Mark Tapscott

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