A new report by the group Public Citizen says that representatives of the banks that received the most money in a federal bailout have ponied up millions of dollars in campaign donations to Members of Congress. Lobbyists, political action committees and trade associations connected to the industry have scheduled 70 fundraisers for Members since Election Day 2008 and have made $6 million in contributions, the Public Citizen report, called Bank-Rolling Congress, found.
According to the group, the study was based on the 10 banks that received the most funds under the Troubled Assets Relief Program and of five trade associations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Roundtable and the American Financial Services Association.
The companies included Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Capital One, Bank of America, Suntrust, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and PNC.
Lobbyists connected with Suntrust, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and the American Financial Services Association did not host any fundraisers, the report said. Lobbyists or political action committees connected with PNC hosted just one, and Bank of America held four. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the ABA hosted the most, with 35 and 21 respectively.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.