The following is a new report on Financial Sector Lobbying from AFR – presented with no comments….
Financial Sector Lobbying and Campaign Expenditures Running at $1.5 Million a Day, Already Top $800 Million for Current Election Cycle
During the current election cycle, Wall Street banks and financial interests have, so far, spent more than $800 million to influence decision-making in Washington, according to a new report released today by Americans for Financial Reform.
That total, combining campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures, works out to about $1.5 million a day. The study’s findings show that the financial industry is on track to exceed its rate of spending in the 2010 election cycle, when the industry was working to stop or weaken the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act as it made its way through Congress. The industry’s continued high level of spending reflects the ongoing battle to reshape the financial system, and the industry’s persistent efforts to repeal or win exemptions from parts of the law, to weaken implementing regulations, and to forestall further proposals for change.
“Wall Street Money in Washington,” a 40-page examination of various forms of political spending, draws on data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), including data produced specifically for AFR in order to provide a more precise look at financial industry spending than has been possible in the past. The special data is based on the standard FIRE (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) category but removes amounts otherwise included in this category spent by health insurers.
Highlights of the report include:
Campaign Contributions. Individuals and entities associated with the financial sector made $245,159,276 in contributions to federal candidates for office during the 2013-14 election cycle through June 30, 2014. Contributions from the larger FIRE industry sector were $247,774,431. The financial sector’s contributions were more than 50% higher than those of any other sector in the Center for Responsive Politics data.
Of the $202,992,995 contributed by PACs and individuals associated with finance, 62% went to Republican candidates and 38% went to Democrats.
Lobbying. The financial industry reported spending $559,409,667 on lobbying in 2013 and 2014 through April 28, 2014. During the same period, the larger FIRE industry spent $607,082,147. This puts the sector in third place, very close behind the $611,837,708 spent on lobbying by the ”Health Industry,” and the $612,736,478 spent by a category of “Miscellaneous Business” companies and trade associations, including such groups as the US Chamber of Commerce which also lobby on financial issues.
In calendar year 2013, there were 2,269 registered lobbyists working for the FIRE sector.
Big Spenders. The companies and trade associations in the sector with the highest level of combined spending on lobbying and contributions include:
- National Association of Realtors (NAR) – $51,402,538
- American Bankers Association (ABA) – $12,385,850
- Prudential Financial – $9,913,277
- American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) – $9,409,450
- Wells Fargo – $9,199,912
- Credit Union National Association (CUNA) – $8,938,250
- Citigroup – $8,278,264
- MetLife – $8,243,416
- JPMorgan Chase – $8,241,610
- Investment Company Institute (ICI) – $7,783,318
- Securities Industry & Financial Market Association (SIFMA) – $7,613,300
- Goldman Sachs – $7,504,026
- Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) – $6,905,560
- Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) – $6,824,700
- USAA – $6,529,967.
Altogether, 231 different financial sector companies and trade associations have each spent more than $500,000 on lobbying and contributions in the current election cycle.
The report also details the spending by each of the 231 financial sector companies and trade associations that spent $500,000 or more on lobbying and contributions in the current election cycle (so far) as well as the amount of contributions given to members of the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee and highlights some conspicuously large contributions to members of Congress from a particular financial firm or FIRE industry. The report also has graphs depicting the amount spent by the financial industry on contributions since 1990 and on lobbying since 2000.
See the full report here Financial sector lobbying