When the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee meet today to consider the nominations of three new commissioners for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, they will be voting on three professionals who have played the political donor game.Continue reading
President Barack Obama has renominated some of his most generous supporters to some of the plushest ambassadorships.Continue reading
With the election over, a Congress full of lame ducks -- along with next year's class of soon-to-be sworn-in lawmakers, ready for freshmen orientation -- returns to Washington next week. Lobbyists and special interests that opened their wallets for candidates are poised to call in chits in a tense environment dominated by the budget impasse that threatens to impose sweeping automatic cuts to defense and social programs if Congress doesn't act.
Top CEOs of more than 80 companies issued a statement on October 25 calling on Congress to solve the issue by considering tax increases along with spending cuts. In ...Continue reading
Sometimes the fastest thumbs in politics are just too fast for their own (or their bosses') good.
About 15 minutes into Wednesday night's debate between Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, Team Brown -- using the boss' campaign Twitter account -- tweeted out a brag about the senator authoring an amendment to create a consumer protection board for members of the military service "which is now headed by Holly Petraeus."
That's a good name to drop. Holly Petraeus is the wife of retired Gen. David Petraeus, who commanded U.S. and allied forces in Iraq and ...Continue reading
Voters in 10 states with competitive Senate races have been inundated with more than $106 million in campaign propaganda, an analysis of independent expenditure reports and campaign expenditure records from the Federal Election Commission shows.
The total represents a combination of ad spending by outside groups and candidates' combined, and is likely a considerable understatement as candidate campaign committees' third-quarter filings have yet to be made public by the FEC.
But the spending we know about so far underscores the stakes involved as the two parties battle for control of the Senate, where Democrats currently hold a six-vote edge. Of ...Continue reading
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed in response to the financial crisis of 2008, added new regulations and new regulators for some—but not all—of the institutions whose actions led to the crisis. Over the next several days, we’ll be taking a look at each of the major groups of contributors to the economic crisis, who the major players were, what political influence they brought to bear on Congress and regulators, how Dodd-Frank intends to regulate them, and, using our new Dodd-Frank Meeting Logs tool, what rules these groups are trying to influence as ...Continue reading
Throughout the last Congress, which adopted far-reaching reforms of the financial sector through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, there were an average of 577 clients lobbying on issues related to the act. Eventually some 1,172 clients—including banks, ratings agencies, investment banks, securities firms and a host of other interests with a stake in the legislation—listed Dodd-Frank or related issues on their lobbying disclosure forms. And in 2011, lobbyists for some 488 clients are still lobbying on the bill, according to the most recent data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
The number of ...
When Republicans took over the House after the mid-term elections in 2010, one of the first things on the agenda for some members was to alter or repeal the sweeping financial reform passed by the previous Congress.
In the year that has passed since H.R. 4173, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, was signed into law, there have been at least 12 bills proposed to alter or remove provisions from the law, with two of those bills proposing to repeal the legislation altogether. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., introduced the first of the two bills—H.R ...Continue reading
Investment bank Goldman Sachs, one of the major players in the crisis that led to the economic meltdown of 2008, has had more meetings with government officials about the implementation of the law intended to reform the financial system than any other company or organization, an analysis of nearly a year’s worth of financial agency meeting logs shows.
The Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group has made those logs--published by five separate federal agencies--available in one location in and easy-to-search format, updated to include the most current information on contacts between officials and private interests seeking to influence federal regulators.
Agency ...Continue reading
The financial crisis had several authors--federal policies that opened the door to predatory mortgage lending, unregulated financial products, integrated firms that borrowed heavily from one another to invest in the "sure bet" of mortgage-backed securities, and hedge funds and insurers that sought to profit by mitigating risk through complex financial instruments. In the aftermath of the crisis, Congress passed and President Obama signed on July 21, 2010, the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to set new safeguards for the public, to rein in financial firms, to ensure oversight of new types of financial instruments, and to ...Continue reading