Bank Lobby Still Getting a Lot of Bang for Their Bucks

It's an ugly system, and it's not going to unwind without a lot of public pressure.


From Roll Call (subscription only):

Banks’ Cash Still Welcome

Members of Congress are scoring political points tongue-lashing Wall Street for its role in the economic meltdown, but they are proving less willing to put their campaign money where their mouths are.


The list of 400 companies that have taken advantage of the $700 billion bailout package includes some of the biggest donors in politics: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, among others. Altogether, TARP recipients doled out $5.2 million to members of the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees in the 2008 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Bank lobbyists were working through Ellen Tauscher and the New Democrat Coalition, in conjunction with the Blue Dogs, tried to kill the bill that would allow bankruptcy judges to write down mortgages, cutting foreclosures by 20% at no cost to taxpayers. Thanks to a big public outcry, the New Dems backed down and the bill passed the House. A bankruptcy judge in Kansas speaks today about how important it is going to be that it pass the Senate and that judges be given the powers that they need to help deal with an unmanageable crisis.

Jane Hamsher is the founder of FireDogLake. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect.
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