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Revolving door between Congress and Wall Street even bigger than we thought

The army of “revolving door” lobbyists bidding for the financial services industry is even larger that we thought. After combing through Senate lobbying disclosure records, we reported in November that at least 940 lobbyists in the financial services sector.

This week, we partnered with the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) on an update to that report that included data from CRP’s in-house revolving doors database (catching lobbyists who do not report to their employment histories on their lobbying disclosure forms) as well as Senate records showing an additional two reporting quarters.

The result: At least 1,447 of the lobbyists employed by the financial services sector since 2009 previously held a government job. That is nearly 56 percent of the 2,603 lobbyists, all told, who worked for the sector in the time period.

Among these “revolving doors” are 73 former members of Congress (including two former Senate majority leaders, two former House majority leaders and a former speaker of the House), 83 lobbyists who either served on a House or Senate banking committee as a member or staffed for the key committees, and 82 lobbyists whose previous bosses now serve one of the banking committees.

What can be done? From the Huffington Post:

Stop talking to colleagues who cash out, says Public Citizen’s David Arkush.

From the press release (and included in the USA Today story):

“Wall Street hires former members of Congress and their staff for a reason,” David Arkush of Public Citizen said in a statement. “These people are influential because they have personal relationships with current members and staff. It’s hard to say no to your friends, but that’s what Congress needs to do. Listening to them would result in a bill that would fail to get the job done and would disappoint the American people.”

Tell your lawmakers that you won’t stand for this. Take action. Sign the petition to stop the revolving door.