Over their careers, the thirty-one congressmen appointed to the conference committee to hash out differences between the House and Senate versions of financial reform received a total of $43.5 million from the finance, insurance and real estate sector (FIRE), according to data obtained from the Center for Responsive Politics.
The conference committee will begin meeting today at 2:15 pm to hash out differences between the two chamber’s bills written to reform the financial sector. (The Sunlight Foundation will be covering the conference committee here.) The conference committee is made up of twelve senators and thirty-one members of the House.
Many of the House members appointed to the conference committee are heavily reliant on contributions from the FIRE sector to fund their reelection campaigns. Twelve conferees have received over 20% of their total career contributions from the FIRE sector.
Topping this list is House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Spencer Bachus, who has received 46% of his career contributions from the FIRE sector. Bachus is also the top recipient among House conferees of total contributions from the FIRE sector with $4.28 million over the course of his career.
Rep. Paul Kanjorksi, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Entities, is the second highest recipient of contributions from the FIRE sector and second-most reliant on those contributions among House conferees. Kanjorski has received $3.85 million from the FIRE sector over his career, accounting for 44% of his total career contributions.
The Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and chief architect of the House version of the bill, Rep. Barney Frank, is also among the top recipients of FIRE contributions and most reliant on their funding. The $3.33 million in FIRE contributions to Frank’s campaigns account for 33.6% of his total contributions received over his career.
Other members of the conference committee who received over 20% of their total contributions from the FIRE sector include Reps. Jeb Hensarling (34.6%), Gregory Meeks (33.6%), Judy Biggert (30.3%), Ed Royce (30.2%), Carolyn Maloney (29.63%), Nydia Velazquez (22.8%), Mel Watt (22.6%), Scott Garrett (21%) and Dennis Moore (20.2%).
Nine of the House members appointed to the conference committee received under 10% of their career contributions from the FIRE sector. Two of these lawmakers are chairmen of powerful committees. House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Henry Waxman received only 5.6% of his career contributions from the FIRE sector and House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers received only 4.8% from the FIRE sector.
The others receiving under 10% include Reps. Howard Berman (9.9%), Sam Graves (9%), Darrell Issa (8.6%), Elijah Cummings (8.4%), Joe Barton (8.1%), Leonard Boswell (7.5%), Gary Peters (7.3%) and Mary Jo Kilroy (4.7%).
See below for a full table with FIRE contributions data. Calculations for total career contributions exclude candidate self-financing.
|Lawmaker||Party||FIRE Contributions||Total Career Contributions||Percent from FIRE|
|Shelley Moore Capito||R||$1,716,082.00||$10,514,333.00||16.32%|
|Mary Jo Kilroy||D||$325,277.00||$6,808,542.00||4.78%|