Banks Gave $1.8 Million to Congressmen Who “Grilled” Them

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Shelley Moore Capito: Personal Interest in the Bailout

It made for great theater: the heads of eight banks that received $166 billion in bailout funds being grilled and tongue-lashed by members of Congress channeling the public’s anger. But if most of the members of the House Financial Services Committee seemed a bit too conciliatory, a bit too sympathetic to the bankers’ problems, there’s good reason: of the 71 members of the committee, 69 of them received campaign contributions from PACs or employees of at least one of the banks represented at the hearing, with the total coming to $1.8 million. Freshman Jim Himes (D-Connecticut) led the list at $195,348, with ranking Republican Spencer Bachus of Alabama coming in second at $116,950. In addition, 18 committee members invested their own personal funds in the bailout banks. Members of Congress are not required to reveal the amount of their investments in exact numbers, only in ranges, so it is not possible to know the extent of their investments in the big eight. However, it is clear that Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) leads the list at between $1.1 million and $5.3 million.

Bankers on the Hill (by James Warren, Huffington Post)
Lawmakers Line Up Bankers, Unleash Anger of the Masses (by (Amit R. Paley, Washington Post)


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