Bailed Out Banks Spend Millions Lobbying Congress

February 5, 2009

lobbying congressBy Angie Moreschi:

Not that this should come as a big surprise, but all those banks that have been getting billions in taxpayer bailout dollars, spent a whole lot of it lobbying members of Congress, last year.

Banks and other companies taking federal bailout assistance spent $114 million on lobbying and campaign contributions last year, according to a new study by OpenSecrets.org.  With $350-billion in TARP money already handed out with no strings attached, the Treasury Department has now put more restrictions on companies that accepts money from the second hand-out of $350-Billion, but it all feels like to little too late.

Lawmakers who oversee the bailout, including Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, were among the top recipients of campaign donations from bailed-out corporations.

From the banking industry, Bank of America was the biggest spender among TARP fund recipients, according to the OpenSecrets.org report. Together with Merrill Lynch, with whom it recently merged, the bank spent $14.5 million to lobby Washington. The bank has received $45 billion in TARP funds, in addition to $10 billion received by Merrill Lynch. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Our taxpayer dollars at work!