Politics Wall Street execs, employees spent $2.9 billion on campaigns, lobbying during 2020 election, study shows
White House meets little resistance in hiring former lobbyists
Watchdog groups that warned the White House against hiring former lobbyists who could pose conflicts of interest are giving a pass to two recent hires who lobbied for a union and a major nonprofit advocacy group.The White House recently brought on Alethea Predeoux, a former lobbyist for the American Federation of Government Employees, and Charanya Krishnaswami, who lobbied for Amnesty International.The moves come after President Biden signed an executive order placing restrictions on all former registered lobbyists working in the administration, drawing praise from advocacy groups like the Revolving Door Project and Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
- Wall Street executives, their employees and trade associations invested at least $2.9 billion into political initiatives during the 2020 election cycle, according to a new research report.
- The study, by Americans for Financial Reform, describes a historic effort by those within banks and other financial groups to contribute to campaigns and lobbying policies.
- The $2.9 billion outlay works out to almost $4 million a day throughout the cycle, according to the new report.
Wall Street executives, their employees and trade associations invested at least $2.9 billion into political initiatives during the 2020 election cycle, according to a new research report.
NFL's richest owners revealed for 2021: Panthers, Cowboys and Rams top list of teams with wealthiest owners
The three richest owners in the NFL all own a team in the NFCAccording to the newest billionaire numbers from Forbes, the Panthers owner has a total net worth of $14.5 billion, making him the 142nd-richest person in the world. Tepper has so much money that he's worth $5.6 billion more than the NFL's second-richest owner, Jerry Jones ($8.9 billion).
The study,and authored by Americans for Financial Reform, paints a historic effort by those within banks and various other financial services firms to contribute to campaigns and lobbying policies being crafted in Washington, D.C.
The report says that it was the most spending by those in the financial services sector in an election cycle since the 2016 presidential contest. At that time, financiers spent $2 billion on similar efforts. The $2.9 billion outlay works out to almost $4 million a day throughout the cycle, according to the new report.
The study combined lobbying and campaign contributions from 2019 through 2020. Part of the group's methodology focused on contributions and lobbying spending by those in the FIRE sector, which focuses on the finance, insurance and real estate industries.
The Biden Infrastructure Bill's Surefire Winner: Lobbyists
President Joe Biden's multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure package presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a mark on federal policy—and, as Washington's legion of lobbyists know, it’s also an opportunity to make some serious bank. With Biden’s speech outlining the package last week, it was “off to the races,” said Chay English, a lobbyist at BGR Group, a top D.C. firm with recent clients such as Chevron, the AFL-CIO, and Verizon. “Everyone wants to play in this space—it is the talk of the town, and because the administration has defined infrastructure so broadly, everyone has potential skin in the game,” English told The Daily Beast.
"Year in and year out, this torrent of money gives Wall Street an outsized role in how we are governed, while driving and protecting policies that help this industry's super wealthy amass even greater fortunes at the expense of the rest of us," Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, told CNBC in a statement.
There's also athat shows the Republican lawmakers who received the most from the financial sector during the election who later objected to confirming the Electoral College results in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill.
Video: NAM CEO on Biden plan: Raising corporate tax rate is a 'job killer' (CNBC)
The report says that individuals and campaign entities linked to the financial sector contributed just more than $1.9 billion toward backing candidates running for federal office, including
CDC study: Leaving middle seat open on planes could reduce COVID-19 exposure
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found leaving the middle seat vacant on planes could reduce COVID-19 exposure for passengers, supporting a practice that has now been abandoned by most airlines. The research released on Wednesday predicted that keeping the middle seat empty on flights could reduce the risk of exposure by 23 percent to 57 percent depending on the seating occupancy model. The study, conducted in part with Kansas State University, used the bacteriophage MS2 virus to stand in for the COVID-19 virus to study how the seating arrangements could affect passengers' exposure to the virus.
Of the $1.9 billion, 47% went to Republicans and 53% went to Democrats. In fact, this report notes that more than $250 million from those working in the FIRE sector went toward supporting Biden, the most out of all the contenders for president. Those contributions were a mix of donations to his campaign and outside groups supporting him.
Former President Donald Trump, on the other hand, saw just over $103 million from those same industries.
Another key to the study is the amount of lobbying that was done by those in the financial sector during the election cycle. Financial firms and their associated groups spent more than $932 million during that time period.
The top 20 financial firms and trade associations that lobbied and had employees or their PACs contribute to candidates include Blackstone, Charles Schwab, Susquehanna International, the American Bankers Association, Bain Capital and Renaissance Technologies.
Senators who combined to receive over $300 million from those in the financial sector include the campaigns of Sens. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.
The top banking trade associations combined to invest just more than $53 million on contributions and lobbying expenditures.
As for the House GOP lawmakers who challenged the results of the Electoral College in January, the report shows the top recipients of Wall Street money in that category include, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Reps. Steve Scalise, R-La., Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.
Senate Republicans who challenged the election results and also saw their campaigns infused with similar cash include Sens. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Rick Scott, R-Fla., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and John Kennedy, R-La.
Senate Republicans propose $568 billion infrastructure plan to counter Biden .
Republicans proposed eliminating spending on caregivers, combating climate change and manufacturing that go beyond physical infrastructure.Although their plan doesn't specify how to pay for the spending, Republicans suggested new user fees, resisting a corporate tax rate increase pushed by Biden and keeping former President Donald Trump's 2017 tax cuts intact.