April 26, 2010
Where will Senators stand on Wall Street reform?
Those opposed to moving forward have taken 25 percent more in campaign cash
WASHINGTON, D.C.-The 41 Republican senators who signed on to a letter opposing the financial reform package have received 25 percent more in campaign contributions, on average, from Wall Street interests than their Democratic colleagues, according to analysis of campaign finance data by Common Cause, Public Campaign and Public Citizen. Because the Democrats effectively control 59 seats and 60 votes are needed to move forward with debate, the key question is whether Senate Republicans will unanimously block consideration of the financial reform bill or whether at least one of them will allow it to proceed.
All 41 of the Senate’s Republicans have received, on average, $2,116,945 each from the financial, insurance and real estate sector over the past six years, according to the groups’ analysis of data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (www.opensecrets.org). The other 57 Democrats and two Independents have received $1,688,068, on average, from these interests-a difference of more than $425,000 per Senator.
“Wall Street executives and firms have spent obscene amounts of money on lobbying and campaign contributions in Washington to maintain the status quo in the financial sector,” said David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “As their first vote on Wall Street reform nears, the question is whether these senators will stand with Wall Street-and with its millions of dollars in campaign cash-or with Main Street. Americans are tired of politicians doing the bidding of their big donors.”
In 2009, the financial industry spent $1.4 million a day on lobbying fees and campaign contributions to influence the policy-making process in Washington, D.C. After the vote this evening, this analysis will be updated to reflect the contributions received by those voting for and against.
Common Cause, Public Campaign, and Public Citizen are working to pass the Fair Elections Now Act (H.R. 1826, S. 792), legislation that would end the nonstop chase for campaign cash and allow candidates for Congress to focus solely on the job to which they were elected-representing their constituents. These groups are part of a broad coalition representing tens of millions of Americans working to pass the Fair Elections Now Act.
Learn more at www.fairelectionsnow.org.