Congressmen Appointed to Conference Committee Receive Contributions From Financial Industry

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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
Spencer Bachus R $4,287,174.00 $9,308,506.00 46.06%
Paul Kanjorski D $3,858,641.00 $8,631,857.00 44.70%
Jeb Hensarling R $2,569,025.00 $7,417,678.00 34.63%
Barney Frank D $3,332,260.00 $9,913,143.00 33.61%
Gregory Meeks D $1,461,292.00 $4,350,723.00 33.59%
Judy Biggert R $1,793,917.00 $5,911,226.00 30.35%
Ed Royce R $2,929,632.00 $9,700,216.00 30.20%
Carolyn Maloney D $3,097,927.00 $10,455,604.00 29.63%
Nydia Velazquez D $1,381,574.00 $6,058,922.00 22.80%
Mel Watt D $952,138.00 $4,204,301.00 22.65%
Scott Garrett R $1,445,423.00 $6,858,355.00 21.08%
Dennis Moore D $2,339,991.00 $11,551,282.00 20.26%
Frank Lucas R $986,154.00 $4,981,517.00 19.80%
Luis Gutierrez D $772,407.00 $3,990,337.00 19.36%
Shelley Moore Capito R $1,716,082.00 $10,514,333.00 16.32%
Lamar Smith R $1,264,198.00 $8,417,101.00 15.02%
Bobby Rush D $552,605.00 $3,749,676.00 14.74%
Edolphus Towns D $1,182,585.00 $9,140,618.00 12.94%
Collin Peterson D $668,664.00 $6,386,757.00 10.47%
Maxine Waters D $450,216.00 $4,338,793.00 10.38%
Heath Shuler D $423,334.00 $4,212,302.00 10.05%
Howard Berman D $959,091.00 $9,689,183.00 9.90%
Sam Graves R $760,628.00 $8,426,439.00 9.03%
Darrell Issa R $444,339.00 $5,166,114.00 8.60%
Elijah Cummings D $439,424.00 $5,208,334.00 8.44%
Joe Barton R $1,405,529.00 $17,185,272.00 8.18%
Leonard Boswell D $820,621.00 $10,851,998.00 7.56%
Gary Peters D $329,180.00 $4,512,451.00 7.29%
Henry Waxman D $348,525.00 $6,180,488.00 5.64%
John Conyers D $298,306.00 $6,119,757.00 4.87%
Mary Jo Kilroy D $325,277.00 $6,808,542.00 4.78%
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  • carlos j. negron

    now is the time for all voters to realize they are in actuality engaged in public financing of political campaigns for all elective offices.

    In order that we may finally get truly representative government ,I suggest we take out the influence of the monied interests on all elected officials by removing the need to seek money in order to successfully vie for polictical office.

    Public financing for all political campaigns should immediately take hold.

    Assign a realistic dollar value to all political offices and prohibit all campaigns from exceeding the dollar value of the office while seeking it.
    This dollar value will apply to primary and general elections.
    This should remove the influence of the monied interests and personally wealthy from representative government.