The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Phone: (202) 588-1000

Revolving Door Spins Quickly Between Congress and Wall Street

New Analysis Shows Connections Between Congressional Banking Committees and Financial Sector Lobbyists


Organizations in the financial services sector have deployed at least
1,447 former federal employees to lobby Congress and federal agencies
since the beginning of 2009, according to a joint analysis of federal
disclosure records and other data released today by Public Citizen and
the Center for Responsive Politics.

This small army of registered financial services sector lobbyists
includes at least 73 former members of Congress, of whom17 served on the
banking committees of either the U.S. House of Representatives or the
Senate. At least 66 industry lobbyists worked for these committees as
staffers, while 82 additional lobbyists once worked for congressional
members who currently serve on these key committees.

Further, at least 42 financial services lobbyists formerly served in
some capacity in the U.S. Treasury Department. At least seven served in
the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, including two former

"Wall Street hires former members of Congress and their staff for a
reason," said David Arkush, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch
division. "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."

Added Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for
Responsive Politics, "Companies pay a premium for lobbyists who've spun
through the revolving door because it can be a small price to pay
relative to the huge payoff if they can shape legislation. These
lobbyists tap insider knowledge and personal relationships, knowing that
their old friends and former co-workers won't want to let them down."

Prominent former congressional members now lobbying on behalf of
financial services sector interests include two former Senate majority
leaders (Bob Dole, R-Kan., and Trent Lott, R-Miss.), two former House
majority leaders (Dick Armey, R-Texas, and Dick Gephardt, D-Mo.) and a
former speaker of the House (Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.).

The analysis is drawn from lobbying disclosure information filed with
the secretary of the Senate, as well as the Center for Responsive
Politics' data.

The report includes tables listing former members of Congress, former
staffers for the banking committees and lobbyists who previously worked
for current banking committee members.

The report is available at

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people - not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

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