Wall Street meets K Street as the U.S. financial industry spent $800 million — roughly $1.5 million a day — in campaign spending and lobbying fees to influence Washington in the current election cycle, according to the left-leaning Americans for Financial Reform.
At this rate, Wall Street will outspend what it did four years ago to fight the landmark Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the group told Benjamin Goad of the Hill.
Ultimately enacted in July 2010, Dodd-Frank turns four years old this week, but approximately half of the regulations required by the law — hundreds of them — remain unfinished, as battles persist over the final wording.
“The industry’s continued high level of spending reflects the ongoing battle to reshape the financial system, and the industry’s persistent efforts to repeal or win exemptions from parts of the law, to weaken implementing regulations, and to forestall further proposals for change,” the organization concluded in a 40-page study, reports the Hill.
Based on figures collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, nearly 62 percent of the political spending went to the GOP; 38 percent of spending was for Democrats.
Leading beneficiaries of Wall Street lobbying in the Senate come from both parties: Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and Ed Markey, Republicans Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Whip John Cornyn are the top four.
Booker and Markey were each in special elections during the current the cycle; McConnell and Cornyn face reelection races this fall.
For the House, Republican Speaker John Boehner, Jeb Hensarling, Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Eric Cantor were the top four recipients, Cantor was defeated this spring in a bombshell primary upset.
The National Association of Realtors, the American Bankers Association and Prudential Financial led industry spenders for both lobbying and campaigns.