Financial Reform Conference Committee Offers Industry Lobbyists Chance to Reunite With Former Bosses

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Dave Levinthal, Center for Responsive Politics, 202-354-0111 
Angela Bradbery, Public Citizen, 202-546-8500

Financial Reform Conference Committee Offers Industry Lobbyists Chance to Reunite With Former Bosses

Analysis by Public Citizen, Center for Responsive Politics Shows 56 Industry Lobbyists Served on Staffs of Lawmakers Named to Conference Committee

WASHINGTON - Lobbyists for the financial services industry enjoy longstanding
ties to the members of Congress who were named this week to the
conference committee on financial reform legislation, according to a
joint analysis of available data released today by Public Citizen and
the Center for Responsive Politics.

At least 56 current industry lobbyists previously served on the
personal staffs of the 43 members of Congress named Wednesday to the
conference committee, according to the study. Notably,
these figures do not include 59 lobbyists who served on either the
Senate or House of Representatives banking committee but never worked
directly for a member. Those lobbyists were enumerated in a report
published last week by Public Citizen and the Center for Responsive
Politics.

The financial services industry’s links to the Senate’s
representatives on the panel are particularly extensive. Collectively,
41 industry lobbyists once worked on the legislative staffs of the
committee’s 12 senators. And each senator once employed at least one
current lobbyist.

The chairman and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Banking,
Housing and Urban Affairs, Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Richard
Shelby (R-Ala.), employed the most industry lobbyists - eight each. At
least seven current financial services lobbyists once served as chief
of staff to a member of the conference committee.

“Lobbyists with these sorts of connections can have a profound
effect on the outcome of legislation,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive
director of the Center for Responsive Politics. “Their knowledge
extends not only to the issues, but, perhaps more importantly, to their
former bosses’ cell phone numbers.”

Added David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch
division, “The American people want reform, not a reunion. Given
industry’s deep connections to lawmakers on the conference committee,
it’s critical that Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has committed to
make the conference process the most transparent in history. Now the
public can crash what ordinarily would be an insider affair and make
sure lawmakers hear from the American people, not just Wall Street
lobbyists.”

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

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