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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wall Street Influence on Financial Reform Conference Committee

Democratic and Republican leadership in both the House and Senate have named 43 individuals to a conference committee tasked with hammering out the final version of the Congress' financial regulatory reform legislation.

Since 1989, all political action committees and individual employees of companies classified by the Center as part of the finance, insurance and real estate sector (FIRE) have contributed more than $695 million to the campaign committees and leadership PACs of current members of the 111th Congress.

More than $112 million from these interests has benefited the Democrats and Republicans named to the conference committee, which will reconcile differences between the Wall Street reform measures passed by the House and Senate.

Among specific interest groups within the FIRE sector, commercial banks were found to have given about $18 to a member of the conference committee out of every $100 donated to all current members of Congress.

The median amount of contributions from Wall Street interests received by the committee's 16 House and Senate Republicans ($1.75 million) is 81 percent larger than the median amount received by the committee's 27 Democrats ($969,600) -- although the parties have received nearly the same amount when one compares averages.

The conferees who have received the most from the FIRE sector since 1989 are Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). Schumer has received more than $17.5 million, while Dodd has received more than $15.1 million.

The next highest recipient of contributions from Wall Street interests has received less than half as much as either Schumer or Dodd. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the
ranking Republican member of the
Senate Banking Committee, has collected more than $7.5 million.

The eight-figure sums collected by Schumer and Dodd increase the Democrats' average as a whole.

Thanks in large part to their hauls from Wall Street, Senate Democrats on the conference committee have received an average of 72 percent more from the FIRE sector than Senate Republican on the conference committee. More...

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