940 Ex-Government Officials Now Lobby For Finance Industry

Saturday, December 05, 2009

When banks, investment firms, insurance companies and real estate companies spend lavishly on lobbying the federal government, they make sure to hire not just any old lobbyists. Among the 940 ex-federal employees hired to promote the agendas of the financial industry are former lawmakers and congressional staff who used to serve on the two key committees that address legislation affecting this sector.

According to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, 19 lobbyists are one-time members of Congress who served either on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs or the House Financial Services Committee. These include former Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley (R-OH), who co-authored the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act that reformed the accounting industry. Another 33 financial sector lobbyists previously worked as staffers for these key committees, and 41 others worked for members who currently serve on the committees.
Altogether, the industry this year has hired at least 70 former members of Congress, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS), Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), House Majority Leaders Dick Armey (R-TX) and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO).
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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