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'For the Record': While Your Congressman Is Fundraising, the Work Still Gets Done — and That’s the Problem

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Every two years, voters head to the polls to send the most-qualified candidates to Congress to represent them. They have one job: represent the people back home.

But there’s a problem.

Once a congressman gets to Washington, one of his greatest obligations is to raise money. By some estimates, fundraising can eat up half or more of the typical congressman’s day.

That means most of the work they were elected to do — such as write legislation — is done by staffers, and sometimes even lobbyists help draft bills. Many of the nation’s laws and regulations are directly influenced by people who were not elected — and in some cases by lobbyists with a direct financial interest in the legislation.

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