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Campaign Cash From Wall Street Favored Representatives Who Opposed Finance Reform Bill

Michael Beckel

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its major financial reform proposal by a 223-202 vote. Commercial banks and credit and finance companies stood among some of the fiercest opponents of the bill. 

And a Center for Responsive Politics analysis shows these industries, which aggressively fought to water down Democrats’ plans for new regulations and oversight, have long lined the pockets of lawmakers who voted against the bill.
Members of the House who voted against the measure collected 70 percent more from commercial banks since 1989, on average, than those supported it. And they raised an average of 50 percent more from credit and finance companies than the bill's supporters, CRP found.
Members who voted against the bill -- sponsored by House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and known as the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 4173) -- received an average of about $133,200 from commercial banks since 1989, while lawmakers who voted for the bill collected an average of about $77,800.
And members of the House who voted against the bill collected an average of about $39,000 from finance and credit companies since 1989, while members who voted in favor of the bill collected an average of $25,900. 
Lawmakers who voted against the measure collected an average of about $849,200 from Wall Street interests over their careers, while lawmakers who supported the bill collected an average of about $694,000, the Center for Responsive Politics found. This means members of the House who opposed the bill received an average of 22 percent more from the finance, insurance and real estate sector since 1989 than supporters.
Frank’s bill calls for new regulation and oversight of derivatives and other trading products through which financial industry workers made risky bets and poor results that helped fuel the economic crisis. 
The legislation also seeks to end the “too big too fail”
concept by requiring banks and other large financial institutions to develop plans for how to safely dissolve and be dismantled if they can no longer
compete. It would give shareholders a say in executive compensation. And it would require credit rating agencies to institute more procedures to curb conflicts of interest and end practices that can lead to inflated credit ratings.
Additionally, the legislation would create a new federal
agency to act as a consumer watchdog -- an idea backed by President Barack Obama but opposed by many in the industry, including the lobbying powerhouse U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The new organization would be called the Consumer Financial Protection Agency and would have the authority to regulate mortgages, credit cards, student loans, auto loans, payday loans and more.
Freshman Blue Dog Democratic Rep. Walter Minnick(D-Idaho) led a fight to remove the Consumer Financial Protection Agency from the final bill. The amendment he offered to eliminate the agency failed on the House floor by a vote of 208-223.
Minnick ultimately voted in favor of Frank’s final bill,
but 27 other Democrats voted against it. Of these, more than a dozen were Blue Dogs. Two members of the Progressive Caucus -- Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) -- also voted against the final legislation because they were concerned that it didn’t go far enough to help consumers.
No Republicans voted in favor of the final legislation.
Below is a table that shows the amounts that the finance, insurance and real estate sector contributed to all members of the House who voted for and against the bill since 1989, including contributions to their leadership PACs. 
It also includes a breakdown of the amounts from specific industries within this sector, including commercial banks, real estate, insurance, securities and investment and credit and finance companies. The table also shows the average amount raised from each of these industries by supporters and opponents of the bill, along with the percentage difference between opponents and supporters. 
FIRE Sector Banks Real Estate Insurance Securities Credit
Total to Yes Votes $154,757,586 $17,351,919 $42,599,989 $27,354,372 $32,328,322 $5,767,902
Average Per Yes Vote $693,980 $77,811 $191,031 $122,665 $144,970 $25,865
Total to No Votes $171,542,785 $26,901,508 $42,302,113 $33,042,715 $25,380,700 $7,883,589
Average Per No Vote $849,222 $133,176 $209,416 $163,578 $125,647 $39,028
% Difference 22% 71% 10% 33% -13% 51%

You can see a full list of how much all members of the House received from these industries as part of our financial tools here.

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