Senate finance conferees receive $57 million in campaign cash

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have announced the Senators that will participate in the conference committee to reconcile the U.S. House and Senate financial reform bills. As the New York Times reported this weekend, financial industry lobbyists are pushing hard to weaken these reforms.

These 12 senators have received nearly $58 million in campaign cash from the finance, insurance, and real estate sector, according to an analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics by Public Campaign Action Fund.

Here’s the breakdown:


Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) $3,507,960
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.)
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
Sen. Jack Reed (D-Del.)
Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)


On the list of conferees are three co-sponsors of the Fair Elections Now Act, legislation that would sever the ties between Wall Street campaign cash and members of Congress. Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) understand the problem with our pay-to-play system and are working to end it.

All of the Democrats on the committee have so far sided with the voters—instead of their Wall Street donors. The conference committee is the last resort for powerful industry lobbyists to weaken the legislation. Will the lobbyists for big investment firms like Goldman Sachs succeed in killing strong derivatives provisions? We’ll know soon.

Stay tuned for an analysis of House conferees when they are announced.


*Johnny Papagiannis contributed to this post.