Wall Street banks and financial trade groups are on track to outdo their 2010 lobbying efforts in Washington by so far dishing out $800 million during the current campaign cycle, according to a just-released report.
The 40-page report, “Wall Street Money in Washington,” by Americans for Financial Reform, examines various forms of political spending and draws on data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), including data produced specifically for AFR.
The $800 million spent to influence decision-making in Washington, combining campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures, works out to about $1.5 million a day, AFR says.
The report argues that the financial services industry’s “continued high level of spending” reflects the “ongoing battle” to reshape the financial system, including the industry’s persistent efforts to repeal or win exemptions from parts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, to weaken implementing regulations, and to forestall further proposals for change.
Individuals and entities associated with the financial sector made more than $245 million in contributions to federal candidates for office during the 2013-14 election cycle through June 30, the report says.
Contributions from the larger finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) industry sector were more than $247 million. 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 nearly $203 million contributed by PACs and individuals associated with finance, 62% went to Republican candidates and 38% went to Democrats. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, has received $1.7 million in this election cycle.
The financial industry reported spending $559 million on lobbying in 2013 and 2014 through April 28, 2014.
During the same period, the FIRE industry spent $607 million. This puts the sector in third place, very close behind the nearly $612 million spent on lobbying by the health industry and the nearly $613 million spent by a category of “miscellaneous business” companies and trade associations, including such groups as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which also lobby on financial issues.
Read on to see which banks and financial-services advocacy groups are putting the most cash in lawmakers’ pockets:
15. USAA – $6,529,967
14. Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) – $6,824,700
13. Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) – $6,905,560