Feb. 7, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Financial Industry Warily Looks to Tea Party Conservatives for Tax Support

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Camp has proposed a new bank tax that has put financial executives on both sides of the aisle on the defensive.

“We have to play the game,” said a Republican financial services lobbyist. “We have no choice.”

A Democratic consultant added that with a tax overhaul likely on the congressional docket in the next Congress, the financial sector cannot afford to give only to one party — or to neither. “You have to support people on both sides of the aisle,” this consultant said.

Lobbyists for the financial industry say they are reluctantly embracing tea party groups in trying to generate opposition to the burgeoning tax proposals. For example, they are circulating Heritage and Club for Growth statements and blog posts against the tax proposals to Republican members of Congress.

“Wall Street and the tea party don’t respect one another, but this issue kind of squarely fits into exactly what they both feel strongest about,” said one financial industry lobbyist. “Wall Street feels like it’s punitive and the tea party feels it’s a slippery slope. They don’t like the idea that the tax code could be used to punish someone.”

Still, a Democratic consultant with financial clients noted aside from the single tax issue, “Wall Street and the tea party are not a cultural fit.”

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