FCIC Commission Must Look at Influence of Campaign Contributions on Weakened Regulatory System

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  • Dale Eisman

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) must look at whether campaign contributions from the financial industry to members of Congress assisted in weakening the financial regulatory system that led to the economic collapse, according to a letter sent to the commission today by Public Campaign and Common Cause.

According to the letter:

“The four CEOs who will appear before your committee this week lead companies whose staff and political action committees have donated more than $63 million to members of Congress since the 2000 election cycle. During this same period, these companies spent $109 million to lobby Congress in a concerted and largely successful effort to limit or weaken the regulatory oversight of their industry. Many economists and other observers agree that this weakly regulated regime helped lead to the economic morass in which we now find ourselves.

“We strongly urge the financial sector representatives to answer the question, ‘what role did campaign contributions play in your attempts to influence Congressional action on financial issues?'”

In December, the House passed a financial overhaul bill and the Senate is expected to take up its version later this month. The financial industry used its clout to weaken the House bill and has called an all out war to kill the Senate bill.

The full letter is available at http://www.fairelectionsnow.org/fcic-letter.

Public Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.