According to Federal Election Commission data, in the first quarter of 2013 39 rank-and-file members of the House of Representatives took money from the National Restaurant Association, a corporate interest group that works “across the industry to advance our members’ interests.” Those interests apparently include paying restaurant workers as little as possible; in the first quarter of 2013 the NRA sent multiple lobbyists to Capitol Hill to win victory on H.R. 1406, a bill that would end overtime pay in America and replace it with a system in which employers can push workers to take on long work hours but pay them as if they weren’t working overtime.
While the National Restaurant Association was lobbying members of Congress on H.R. 1406, it also was sending money to the same members of Congress. Is receipt of money from the National Restaurant Association associated with the likelihood a member voted “Yes” on H.R. 1406, to end overtime pay in America? You bet it is. A full 95% of politicians in Congress who took cash from the NRA voted to end overtime pay for workers, compared to 52% of politicians overall.
The official title of H.R. 1406 uses the cover phrase “Working Families,” but to understand the bill’s passage, you’ve got to follow the money.