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The STS Political Action Committee (STS-PAC)

Political Action Committees are formed by groups in order to advance the outcome of a political issue or election. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Political Action Committee, STS‐PAC, was formed in 1997 and since then, has raised millions of dollars from politically‐savvy cardiothoracic surgeons and disbursed millions of dollars to members of Congress.

Why does STS have a PAC?

Federal law requires it. The Federal Election Campaign Act, first passed in 1971, streamlined existing laws that banned contributions from corporations and other special interest groups. The law (and its subsequent rulemaking power under the Federal Election Commission) prohibits campaign donations directly from corporations, labor organizations, and other groups, including STS. Instead, organizations may establish separate bank accounts to collect voluntary donations and distribute that money to campaign coffers.   This restriction has had an unintended but very powerful consequence: When people contribute to PACs, their political voices are heard in full force with like‐minded citizens. Today there are over 1,000 PACs organized by trade associations, membership organizations, and health societies like STS. In addition, there are nearly 2,000 corporate PACS and nearly 300 labor organization PACs. And there are thousands of more PACs organized around specific issues, causes, and candidates.

STS‐PAC is the only PAC that represents cardiothoracic surgery. The PAC disburses money to candidates in federal elections in a nonpartisan manner. Because of ethics laws that limit access to members of Congress, STS‐PAC is one of the best ways to forge relationships with elected officials and convey the Society’s priorities in a fair and open manner. All contributions are public record.

Why give to a PAC?                                                                
Contributing to a PAC helps you get more out of your political contributions. The PAC pools together individual contributions into larger amounts that are given to campaigns. This “strength in numbers” approach also helps ensure that the PAC reaches as many elected officials as possible. STS‐PAC fights to repeal the unsustainable formula used to calculate physician payment rates, reduce health care costs, enact medical liability reform, and improve quality of care. Contributions are only accepted from STS members who are US citizens. To learn more about STS‐PAC, contact the STS Government Relations staff at 202‐787‐1230 or advocacy [at] sts [dot] org.