BACKGROUND MEMO: Oversight Committee’s Wall Street Cash

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The House Committee on Oversight and Government reform will host Elizabeth Warren, Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB) Thursday. If previous hearings with Warren are any guide, Republican members will likely attack Warren and her work to protect consumers from the types of activities that led to the economic collapse in 2008.

Oversight Committee members received more than $6 million from the finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sector in the 2010 cycle, according to Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

“Powerful Members of Congress fought tooth and nail to kill the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the last Congress,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for Public Campaign Action Fund. “They failed to keep it out of Dodd-Frank, but one year later they are still trying to weaken consumer protections at the behest of their Wall Street donors.”

Key Facts:

-       Oversight Committee members received at least $6.04 million in campaign contributions from the FIRE sector in the 2010 cycle. Major giving sectors included:

Real Estate $1,712,445
Securities & Investments $1,169,902
Insurance $1,121,769
Misc. Finance $623,880
Commercial Banks $510,105

-    Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and his leadership PAC have received at least $587,689 from Wall Street interests during his time in Congress, including $194,160 in the 2010 cycle alone.  Securities and investment firms donated $58,500 to Issa and his leadership PAC in the last election cycle.

-       Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who made controversial remarks about Warren at a subcommittee hearing he chaired in May, has also benefited from the industry over the years. During his time in Congress, McHenry and his leadership PAC have received $1.5 million in FIRE money, including nearly half a million dollars in 2010 alone. Some of McHenry’s top career donors to his campaign committee include Bank of America ($44,499), Wachovia ($34,600), PricewaterhouseCoopers ($29,000), and Wells Fargo ($25,550).

“Americans believe Wall Street has too much power in Washington,” said Donnelly. “Chairman Issa and his colleagues shouldn’t attack Ms. Warren – they should work alongside her to hold Wall Street accountable.”