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FinReg Conferees and Finance Industry Cash

May 26, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The Senate has selected their conferees to meet with the House on ironing out the differences between the two chambers’ financial reform bills. It’s a pretty standard list including members of the Banking and Agriculture Committees that had jurisdiction over the bill as it moved through the Senate. But, since the Senate’s conferees have all been influential players on the issue, it means that they are bringing an unusually large amount of financial industry donations to the negotiating table.

On average, senators who will participate in the conference committee have received 2.85 times as much money from the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate industry in the 2010 campaign cycle than a typical senator. The average for conference committee members is $739,374 while the average for the full Senate is $259,261, according to data from

As substantial as these top-line numbers are, they don’t tell the full story about how finance money might play into the conference committee. In the table below, you’ll see that there are almost two classes of negotiators — those receiving donations near and above $1 million, and those receiving levels well below the Senate average. We should be watching to see if votes on specific issues in the conference committee follow this division (that is, if the conference committee is televised).


Senate Conferees ‘09-’10 cycle $ from Finance
Sen. Christopher Dodd [D, CT] $894,888
Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY] $3,896,839
Sen. Blanche Lincoln [D, AR] $941,350
Sen. Tim Johnson [D, SD] $102,149
Sen. Thomas Harkin [D, IA] $35,060
Sen. Patrick Leahy [D, VT] $159,200
Sen. John Reed [D, RI] $39,050
Sen. Richard Shelby [R, AL] $1,227,738
Sen. Judd Gregg [R, NH] N/A
Sen. Bob Corker [R, TN] $381,163
Sen. Saxby Chambliss [R, GA] $49,850
Sen. Michael Crapo [R, ID] $405,823


For a good rundown of the difference between the House and Senate bills that will have to be resolved in the conference committee, see this blog post.


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