Even as the new House GOP majority is taking aim at the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by pulling at the agencies’ purse strings, financial interests continue to jockey for favor, hiring key lobbying firms.
Since the beginning of the year, there have been 35 new registrations for entities expecting to lobby on financial institutions/investments/securities—more than one per day. This is in addition to the clients who have ongoing contracts with lobbying firms–last year alone the financial sector reported spending a whopping $359 million on lobbying.
Among the firms grabbing new contracts is the lobbying firm Clark, Lytle & Geduldig, which has signed up the National Venture Capital Association, Genworth Financial, and Terradata Corp. The firm has represented a wide array of financial interests in the past.
Lobbyists Steve Clark, Gary Lytle, and Sam Geduldig, are frequent hosts for fundraisers for lawmakers—several of them now key in oversight and funding for federal financial programs. Geduldig is a one-time staffer for the House Financial Services Committee and served as a top aide to then House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, as well as political director for new House Speaker John Boehner, R., Ohio.
The trio were listed as hosts for this July event at the restaurant Jordan's 8 for Rep. Darrell Issa, R., Calif. Last week Issa, the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee, hosted a hearing on the federal TARP bailout program, which he has criticized.
The same month they were listed as hosts of a rooftop winetasting benefitting Rep. Scott Garrett, R, N.J., who is now chairman of the House Financial Services Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee. Garrett recently said that budgets was just one way that Republicans were trying to “throttle” the new financial law.
And they were also set to fete Rep. Paul Ryan, R., Wisc. last week at a dinner to benefit his leadership PAC. That event was postponed when Ryan was selected to deliver the GOP response to the State of the Union.
On January 24, the powerhouse firm Williams and Jensen signed up the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnatti, to lobby on government sponsored enterprises (GSE) reform. The bank, a GSE, is one of a dozen created by the federal government during the Depression that provides loans to banks and thrifts that engage in mortgage lending; they also invested in mortgage-backed securities.
Last week the Treasury Department announced that it was delaying a long-anticipated report on restructuring the more well known GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, until mid-February. The House Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee is planning a hearing on GSE reform on February 9.
Parsons Strategies and the related Delta Strategy Group, which is run by several former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) staffers, signed new contracts with Trumarx Data Partners, DRW Trading, Infinium Capital Management, Chesapeake Energy, and Gavilon. All are involved in the derivatives industry, which is facing major CFTC rulemakings under the new law.
Toyota Financial Services hired Arnold and Porter to lobby on regulatory and legislative issues related to the Dodd-Frank law, as did State Farm Insurance.