- Politico -
Wall Street has dramatically expanded its influence on Capitol Hill over the past year, using a lobbying army that includes nearly 1,500 former federal employees and 73 former members of Congress who have been deployed during debate on financial reform legislation.
Citigroup, Visa, the American Bankers Association, Prudential Financial and Goldman Sachs have drawn some of the top experts from Capitol Hill — with each organization registering nearly 50 people who formerly worked in the government, according to a joint report released today by the Center for Responsive Politics and Public Citizen.
Of the 73 lawmakers-turned-lobbyists touting Wall Street’s interests, 17 served on congressional banking committees during their time in office, including former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael Oxley (R-Ohio), a co-author of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Other former powerhouses doing Wall Street’s bidding include former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), former Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and former House Majority Leaders Dick Armey (R-Texas) and Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.). One former member, Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.) has a whopping 13 financial sector clients.
To be sure, many of these members have been lobbying for financial clients since well before the financial legislation was introduced last year. But their influence has only grown in wake of the financial crisis.
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