logo

Financial Industry Invests Heavily in Key Lawmakers

(Originally published Nov. 16, 2009; Updated with third quarter Senate data Dec. 28, 2009)

As Congress considers legislation to reregulate the financial services industry in response to the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression, the industry is focusing campaign contributions on the congressional leadership and members of the committees crafting reform legislation.

Between November 2008 (when the current election cycle began) and Sept. 30, 2009, the financial industry – including banks, investment firms, insurance companies and real estate companies – has given $48.3 million in campaign contributions to members of Congress and their leadership political action committees, according to data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics (www.opensecrets.org).

Outsized Giving to Committees that Regulate Financial Services

The industry has showered members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs with contributions averaging $309,180; 2.3 times what it has given to other members of the Senate. In the House, Representatives on the House Committee on Financial Services received an average contribution of $138,422 from the sector, about 2.4 times what it has given to other lawmakers. [See Figure I] Meanwhile, the industry has given 2.3 times as much money, on average, to members of the Senate leadership compared to other senators and 7.1 times as much to members of the House leadership compared to other representatives. [See Figure II]

Both chambers of Congress are debating legislation to reform the financial industry in the wake of the recent housing and financial market meltdowns and are expected to vote on legislation in the coming few weeks. Key proposals include downsizing banks that have become "too big to fail," regulating exotic financial products that underlay the crisis and creating a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency to monitor consumer lending and prevent the types of predatory practices that led to widespread mortgage defaults. The financial industry is working vigorously to defeat or weaken most of these proposals.

The 94 members of the two finance committees have received $16.9 million overall. The top 10 committee recipients include the Democratic chairmen: Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Rep. Barney Frank (Mass.); and the ranking Republicans on the committees: Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.) and Rep. Spencer Bachus (Ala.). [See Figure III]

Senate banking committee member Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has received the most from the industry, $2.3 million, followed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who has received $1.2 million. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been the third highest recipient, with $1.1 million in contributions. Among House members, the two highest-ranking members of the Republican leadership, Minority Whip Eric Cantor ($777,147) and Minority Leader John Boehner ($523,100) have been among the largest recipients, along with Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) ($604,700).

Figure I: Aggregate Financial Sector Donations to Members of the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees

Committee

Individuals to Campaign

Cmtes

PACs to Campaign

Cmtes

Individuals to Leadership

PACs

PACs to Leadership

PACs

Total

Avg.

Ratio of Avg. Donations Received by Cmte. Members vs. Other Lawmakers in Chamber

Banking Cmte. Members (Senate)

$4,589,194

$2,014,207

$119,850

$387,900

$7,111,151

$309,180

2.3 to 1

Other Sens.

$7,012,944

$2,075,585

$265,200

$1,050,750

$10,404,479

$139,901

--

Finance Cmte. Members (House)

$3,601,659

$5,659,887

$42,050

$524,386

$9,827,982

$138,422

2.4 to 1

Other Reps.

$11,127,875

$7,880,347

$352,420

$1,548,300

$20,908,942

$57,600

--

All

$26,331,672

$17,630,026

$779,520

$3,511,336

$48,252,554

$90,192

--

Source: Center for Responsive Politics (available at www.OpenSecrets.org).

Figure II: Aggregate Financial Sector Donations to Members of the Congressional Leadership*

Chamber

Individuals to Campaign

Cmtes

PACs to Campaign

Cmtes

Individuals to Leadership

PACs

PACs to Leadership

PACs

Total

Avg.

Ratio of Avg. Donations Received by Leadership Members  vs. Other Lawmakers in Chamber

Senate

$994,495

$223,400

$42,000

$255,500

$1,515,395

$378,849

2.3 to 1

House

$634,697

$822,628

$134,820

$731,200

$2,323,345

$464,669

7.1 to 1

All Leadership

$1,629,192

$1,046,028

$176,820

$986,700

$3,775,740

$426,527

 

Source: Center for Responsive Politics (available at www.OpenSecrets.org).

*The nine members of the leadership whose contributions were analyzed were the Speaker of the House, the Senate and House majority and minority leaders and the Senate and House majority and minority whips.

Figure III: Financial Industry Donations to Members of Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees

Lawmaker

Individuals to Campaign

Cmtes

PACs to Campaign

Cmtes

Individuals to Leadership

PACs

PACs to Leadership

PACs

Total

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.)

$1,922,399

$290,400

$15,000

$47,000

$2,274,799

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.)

$483,613

$276,485

$0

$21,500

$781,598

Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.)

$493,124

$123,580

$0

$0

$616,704

Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.)

$321,000

$187,050

$5,000

$35,000

$548,050

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.)

$31,700

$200,500

$10,000

$216,500

$458,700

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.)

$234,386

$205,187

$0

$0

$439,573

Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah)

$162,725

$220,800

$0

$23,500

$407,025

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.)

$227,500

$154,320

$10,000

$12,400

$404,220

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.)

$236,650

$160,600

$0

$6,000

$403,250

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)

$203,050

$191,499

$0

$0

$394,549

Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.)

$83,600

$285,775

$0

$24,500

$393,875

Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski (D-Pa.)

$51,900

$300,897

$2,400

$30,000

$385,197

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.)

$214,041

$107,000

$5,000

$0

$326,041

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)

$163,379

$130,200

$1,000

$30,500

$325,079

Sen. James W. DeMint (R-S.C.)

$125,699

$151,881

$16,050

$26,500

$320,130

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)

$81,300

$190,171

$1,000

$31,500

$303,971

Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.)

$87,150

$207,535

$0

$0

$294,685

Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.)

$214,750

$67,381

$0

$0

$282,131

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)

$25,525

$159,500

$5,000

$90,000

$280,025

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

$157,543

$53,000

$30,500

$10,000

$251,043

Rep. Paul W. Hodes (D-N.H.)

$205,200

$38,500

$0

$0

$243,700

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.)

$104,253

$122,229

$0

$0

$226,482

Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.)

$92,209

$133,404

$0

$0

$225,613

Rep. John H. Adler (D-N.J.)

$134,700

$88,148

$0

$0

$222,848

Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.)

$114,466

$88,637

$0

$0

$203,103

Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.)

$40,650

$123,655

$13,500

$15,500

$193,305

Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.)

$55,360

$132,047

$0

$0

$187,407

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)

$137,300

$14,000

$18,800

$14,500

$184,600

Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.)

$49,350

$135,072

$0

$0

$184,422

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas)

$72,560

$105,500

$0

$0

$178,060

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.)

$16,510

$94,750

$3,150

$61,636

$176,046

Rep. Walter Clifford Minnick (D-Idaho)

$60,436

$110,767

$0

$0

$171,203

Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.)

$83,066

$84,767

$0

$0

$167,833

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.)

$40,360

$109,500

$0

$17,500

$167,360

Rep. Edwin G. Perlmutter (D-Colo.)

$49,250

$111,363

$0

$0

$160,613

Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.)

$44,950

$112,151

$0

$0

$157,101

Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.)

$72,386

$80,600

$0

$0

$152,986

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.)

$46,868

$105,572

$0

$0

$152,440

Rep. Michael N. Castle (R-Del.)

$6,000

$141,000

$0

$0

$147,000

Rep. Travis W. Childers (D-Miss.)

$26,800

$115,540

$0

$0

$142,340

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)

$80,800

$61,500

$0

$0

$142,300

Rep. Thad McCotter (R-Mich.)

$44,400

$97,363

$0

$0

$141,763

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.)

$37,700

$89,650

$0

$8,000

$135,350

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.)

$30,250

$103,323

$0

$0

$133,573

Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-Mass.)

$99,200

$31,500

$0

$0

$130,700

Rep. Christopher J. Lee (R-N.Y.)

$17,225

$108,823

$0

$0

$126,048

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.)

$41,700

$76,220

$0

$0

$117,920

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.)

$61,950

$48,900

$5,000

$2,000

$117,850

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)

$35,400

$80,500

$0

$0

$115,900

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)

$45,950

$21,500

$17,500

$28,500

$113,450

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)

$53,350

$29,300

$0

$28,500

$111,150

Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.)

$18,540

$77,823

$0

$0

$96,363

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.)

$41,900

$42,400

$0

$0

$84,300

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.)

$26,800

$51,750

$0

$3,750

$82,300

Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)

$19,500

$58,897

$0

$0

$78,397

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.)

$42,900

$8,500

$0

$25,000

$76,400

Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.)

$26,550

$46,400

$0

$0

$72,950

Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-Ohio)

$10,350

$62,500

$0

$0

$72,850

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)

$35,100

$10,000

$0

$26,000

$71,100

Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-N.Y.)

$10,600

$60,000

$0

$0

$70,600

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.)

$38,596

$31,587

$0

$0

$70,183

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.)

$33,310

$35,500

$0

$0

$68,810

Rep. Frank D. Lucas (R-Okla.)

$20,900

$44,000

$0

$0

$64,900

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)

$4,310

$58,097

$0

$0

$62,407

Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.)

$24,121

$37,350

$0

$0

$61,471

Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio)

$24,636

$36,538

$0

$0

$61,174

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)

$10,300

$49,822

$0

$0

$60,122

Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio)

$14,586

$44,742

$0

$0

$59,328

Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.)

$24,550

$31,750

$0

$0

$56,300

Sen. Michael O. Johanns (R-Neb.)

$250

$21,500

$1,000

$33,500

$56,250

Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.)

$22,950

$31,446

$0

$0

$54,396

Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.)

$7,500

$35,500

$2,000

$7,500

$52,500

Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas)

$19,400

$33,000

$0

$0

$52,400

Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.)

$9,459

$40,000

$0

$0

$49,459

Rep. William L. Clay Jr. (D-Mo.)

$26,950

$21,900

$0

$0

$48,850

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.)

$7,150

$40,500

$0

$0

$47,650

Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.)

$25,200

$18,500

$0

$0

$43,700

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas)

$32,452

$9,500

$0

$0

$41,952

Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. (R-N.C.)

$16,110

$20,500

$0

$0

$36,610

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.)

$3,500

$31,500

$0

$0

$35,000

Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.)

$13,750

$20,550

$0

$0

$34,300

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)

$19,050

$15,000

$0

$0

$34,050

Rep. Melvin L. Watt (D-N.C.)

$0

$31,000

$0

$0

$31,000

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)

$7,300

-$4,000

$0

$24,500

$27,800

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.)

$8,200

$17,500

$0

$0

$25,700

Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas)

$3,800

$21,000

$0

$0

$24,800

Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-S.C.)

$5,350

$13,500

$0

$2,500

$21,350

Rep. Adam H. Putnam (R-Fla.)

$4,600

$1,000

$0

$6,500

$12,100

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)

$7,250

$2,000

$0

$2,000

$11,250

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)

$1,000

$3,000

$0

$0

$4,000

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)

$450

$3,500

$0

$0

$3,950

Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii)

$0

-$1,000

$0

$0

-$1,000

Source: Center for Responsive Politics (available at www.OpenSecrets.org).

Figure IV: Financial Industry Donations to Senate and House Leadership

Lawmaker

Individuals to Campaign

Cmtes

PACs to Campaign

Cmtes

Individuals to Leadership

PACs

PACs to Leadership

PACs

Total

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

$877,210

$168,900

$0

$57,500

$1,103,610

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.)

$307,747

$209,200

$69,000

$211,200

$797,147

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio)

$100,200

$183,650

$31,250

$208,000

$523,100

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.)

$93,350

$178,035

$14,770

$144,500

$430,655

Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.)

$39,000

$138,743

$9,000

$104,500

$291,243

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

$94,400

$113,000

$10,800

$63,000

$281,200

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

$96,225

$30,500

$1,500

$89,500

$217,725

Sen. Jon L. Kyl (R-Ariz.)

$3,200

$11,000

$23,500

$88,500

$126,200

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

$17,860

$13,000

$17,000

$20,000

$67,860

Total

$1,629,192

$1,046,028

$176,820

$986,700

$3,838,740

Source: Center for Responsive Politics (available at www.OpenSecrets.org).

Figure V: Financial Industry Average Contributions to Senate and House Members

stats2

Source: Center for Responsive Politics (available at www.OpenSecrets.org).