Dozens of financial industry lobbyists have ties to lawmakers serving on the conference committee negotiating financial reform legislation, according to data reported by Public Citizen and the Center for Responsive Politics. Among them are seven former chiefs of staff and a total of 16 former employees of Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL).
In addition to the lobbyists with direct ties to the conference committee members, Public Citizen’s investigation found 59 lobbyists who have previously worked on either the Senate or House of Representatives banking committees.
The financial services industry’s links to the Senate’s representatives on the panel are particularly extensive. Collectively, 41 industry lobbyists once worked on the legislative staffs of the committee’s 12 senators. And each senator once employed at least one current lobbyist.
The chairman and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), employed the most industry lobbyists - eight each. At least seven current financial services lobbyists once served as chief of staff to a member of the conference committee.
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Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com