Democratic and Republican leadership in both the House and Senate have named 43 individuals to a conference committee tasked with hammering out the final version of the Congress’ financial regulatory reform legislation.
These members comprise just 8 percent of Congress, but the group has been far more likely to benefit from Wall Street’s cash.
Out of every $100 that Wall Street interests have contributed to sitting members of Congress over the years, $16 has gone to a member of the financial reform conference committee, the Center for Responsive Politics has found.
Since 1989, all political action committees and individual employees of companies classified by the Center as part of the finance, insurance and real estate sector (FIRE) have contributed more than $695 million to the campaign committees and leadership PACs of current members of the 111th Congress.
More than $112 million from these interests has benefited the Democrats and Republicans named to the conference committee, which will reconcile differences between the Wall Street reform measures passed by the House and Senate.
Among specific interest groups within the FIRE sector, commercial banks were found to have given about $18 to a member of the conference committee out of every $100 donated to all current members of Congress.
Securities and investment interests have given $1 out of every $5 to a member of the conference committee, the Center for Responsive Politics found.
And people and political action committees associated with credit and finance companies have given nearly $1 out of every $4 donated to members of the conference committee.
| Total Congress
|| Only Conferees
|| % Conferees
|Securities & Investment||$163,628,474||$32,252,759||20%|
|Credit & Finance||$25,191,341||$5,739,911||23%|
The median amount of contributions from Wall Street interests received by the committee’s 16 House and Senate Republicans ($1.75 million) is 81 percent larger than the median amount received by the committee’s 27 Democrats ($969,600) — although the parties have received nearly the same amount when one compares averages.
The conferees who have received the most from the FIRE sector since 1989 are Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). Schumer has received more than $17.5 million, while Dodd has received more than $15.1 million.
The next highest recipient of contributions from Wall Street interests has received less than half as much as either Schumer or Dodd. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican member of the Senate Banking Committee, has collected more than $7.5 million.
The eight-figure sums collected by Schumer and Dodd increase the Democrats’ average as a whole.
Thanks in large part to their hauls from Wall Street, Senate Democrats on the conference committee have received an average of 72 percent more from the FIRE sector than Senate Republican on the conference committee.
When comparing medians, Senate Republicans named to the conference committee have received 3 percent more than their Democratic counterparts.
Among House members named to the conference committee, Republicans have collected more from Wall Street interests, when comparing both the median and average amounts.
The median amount received from the FIRE sector by House Republicans on the conference committee is double the Democratic median.
And the average haul from Wall Street interests by House Republicans on the conference committee is 60 percent large than the average among Democrats on the committee.
|Comparison|| % Increase
|Median Senate GOP v. Median Senate Dem||3%|
|Average Senate Dem v. Average Senate GOP||72%|
|Median House GOP v. Median House Dem||103%|
|Average House GOP v. Average House Dem||60%|
|Median All GOP v. Median All Dems||81%|
|Average All Dems v. Average All GOP||2%|
For more detailed information about the summary figures, and the breakdown of all FIRE contributions to the 43 members of the conference committee, you can download a spreadsheet of the data here: FinReg Money.xls
(If you use this information, please be sure to credit the Center for Responsive Politics.)
You can also see the FIRE contributions to all members of the 111th Congress here as part of the financial tools available in our “Crossing Wall Street” series.