House Financial Services Committee Hearing: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Fields Questions From Financial Friends

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Common Dreams

House Financial Services Committee Hearing: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Fields Questions From Financial Friends

by
Common Dreams staff

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (L) received $10,000 from JPMorgan's PAC in the 2012 election cycle.

As JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testifies before the House Financial Services Committee today, he will answer questions from committee members who have financial ties to the bank.

Research from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that members of the House Financial Services Committee, including Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, have $168,000 from JPMorgan Chase's PACs and employees in the 2012 election cycle.

ProPublica also reports that the bank has two in-house lobbyists with connections to the committee.

Today's hearing follows Dimon's hearing last week before the Senate Banking Committee with whom JPMorgan Chase also has financial connections. Matt Taibbi noted that at that hearing, "The senators treated Dimon like a visiting dignitary and a teacher of great wisdom."

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Dan Glaun writing on Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets blog
With Dimon Set to Testify Again, JPMorgan Chase Favors GOP on House Panel

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon's time in the Washington spotlight will continue Tuesday when he testifies before the House Financial Services Committee. As he did in his appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, Dimon will field questions from lawmakers who have benefited from political contributions from JPMorgan Chase.

Members of the House committee have received over $168,000 from the company's PACs and employees thus far in the 2012 election cycle, according to Center for Responsive Politics research. About 80 percent comes from one of the bank's PACs. The rest has been contributed by individual employees.

The committee's top recipient of JPMorgan Chase donations is Steve Stivers (R-OH) -- a freshman Representative and former banking lobbyist who took in $10,000 in PAC funds and $2,550 from individual employees of the financial giant. Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) claims the next largest take: $11,000, $10,000 of which is from JPMorgan's PAC. Coming in third was Robert Dold (R-IL), who took in $5,000 in PAC funds and $5,500 in employee donations.

Bachus in particular has long-term ties to the bank. JPMorgan Chase is the top contributor of PAC money over the course of Bachus' career, giving $95,000 since first federal campaign in 1992.

Unlike its relatively universal and non-partisan distribution of funds to the Senate Banking Committee, JPMorgan Chase has heavily favored Republicans in its giving to the House finance panel. About three-quarters of the corporation's contributions in the 2012 cycle have gone to GOP members of the committee; that's true of both PAC and individual contributions. While only five of the 34 Republican committee members have gone without JPMorgan Chase money this cycle, 15 of the 26 Democrats on the panel have been snubbed by both the bank's PACs and its employees. Eight of the committee's top ten recipients of the bank's contributions are Republicans.

The top Democratic beneficiary of donations from JPMorgan Chase is James Himes (D-CT), who received $7,500 from the company's PAC and $2,000 from its employees. Himes introduced the Swap Jurisdiction Certainty Act in 2011, which would exempt certain derivatives transactions between American and foreign traders from regulation under the Dodd-Frank Act. That bill was reported out by the Financial Services Committee in March but has not been voted on by the full House.

Absent from the donors' list has been Dimon himself. While he did give $2,000 to Stivers' successful challenge of Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH) in 2010, he has not contributed to any House races during the 2012 election cycle.

Several of the committee's top campaign funding recipients also have personal financial ties to JPMorgan Chase, according to personal financial disclosures released last week. Stivers has over $115,000 invested in JPMorgan Chase stock and accounts, including $65,002 to $150,000 in a 401k; between $50,000 and $100,000 in a separate retirement fund; and $1,001 to $15,000 in stock. Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), who has received $6,000 from a JPMorgan Chase PAC this election cycle, owns between $1,001 and $15,000 in stock and another $15,001 to $50,000 in the company as part of a UBS retirement plan.

While Bachus does not have money invested in the company, he is on the hook to JPMorgan Chase for two mortgages: one valued from $50,001 to $100,000 on an Alabama property and one for a Washington DC holding worth from between $250,001 and $500,000.

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Cora Currier writing for ProPublica
JPMorgan’s Connections to the House Finance Committee

As we charted last week, JPMorgan happens to have plenty of connections to the Senate committee. The House committee where Dimon is appearing today has its own ties to the bank. Congressmen and staff from the committee have gone to JPMorgan and its lobbying firms. Members have also gotten hefty campaign contributions from the bank's PACs and employees.

 

The House Connections

JPMorgan has two in-house lobbyists with connections to the House Financial Services committee.

There are also three former congressional staffers with committee ties at firms currently lobbying for JPMorgan:

  • Collins Lionel is a lobbyist at Jones, Walker et al., and a former staff member on the committee. JPMorgan hired the firm this year.
  • Nicholas Leibham, who works JPMorgan lobbying firm K&L Gates, was formerly an aide to Gary L. Ackerman, D-N.Y., another committee member.
  • Bart Gordon also works at K&L Gates. He's a former Democratic congressman from Tennessee who, back in the 1980s, sat on the committee.

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