DATA RELEASE: Financial Bailout Vote: House Members Voting 'Yes' Received 54% More Money from Banks and Securities

Dems voting 'Yes' received twice as much as Dems voting 'No'

BERKELEY, CA, September 29, 2008 - Members of the U.S. House of Representatives today voted against a $700 billion financial system bailout. MAPLight.org has found that, over the past five years, banks and securities firms gave an average of $231,877 in campaign contributions to each Representative voting in favor of the bailout, compared with an average of $150,982 to each Representative voting against the bailout--54 percent more money given to those who voted Yes. 205 Representatives voted Yes and 228 voted No, with 1 Not Voting.

House Democrats split their votes on this bill, 140 voting Yes and 95 voting No. Democrats voting Yes received an average of $212,700 each, about twice as much as those voting No, $107,993.

House Republicans also split their votes on this bill, 65 voting Yes and 133 voting No (and 1 not voting). Republicans voting Yes received an average of $273,181 each, 50% more than those voting No, $181,688.

“Profit-driven companies wouldn't be making campaign contributions if it didn't buy them influence or access," said Daniel Newman, MAPLight.org's executive director. “Votes in Congress align with the river of money that flows through our political system.”

Votes on H.R. 3997, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

Average amount banks and securities firms gave to U.S. House Members:

 

 

Average amount given to each legislator voting this way

House Members (All)

voted Yes

$231,877

 

voted No

$150,982

House Democrats
voted Yes
$212,700
 
voted No
$107,993

House Republicans

voted Yes

$273,181

 
voted No
$181,688

To view how each legislator voted: http://www.maplight.org/map/us/bill/72675/N7DgM9/votes/votedetail-351995

Methodology:

MAPLight.org's analysis used data from the Center for Reponsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org) and included campaign funds given from January 2003 through August 2008 by these industries: banks (including commercial banks, savings & loans, and investment banks), credit unions, finance companies, stock exchanges, venture capital and private equity firms, hedge funds, and securities and commodities brokers and firms. Data includes both PAC and individual contributions. We used Congressional voting records from the U.S. House website, via GovTrack.us.

Financial Services Sector - Contribution History

The financial services sector has contributed more to candidates for Congress, Presidential candidates, and political parties than any other sector, totaling $339,649,585 from 2007-present.
Source: http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/sectors.php

The sector has also contributed heavily to both John McCain and Barack Obama’s Presidential campaigns in 2007-2008: $22,108,926 to Sen. McCain and $24,860,257 to Sen. Obama.
Source: http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/sectorallc.php?cycle=2008

The financial services sector has been a top campaign contributor for years, donating more than $2 billion to Federal candidates from 1989 through today.
Source: http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=F

Note: The financial services sector referenced on OpenSecrets.org includes more industries than just the banking and securities industries MAPLight.org examined in this vote correlation report.

Looking Back: Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 (Gramm-Leach-Bliley)

In 1999 Congress passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley bill, with bipartisan support, allowing the nation's largest banks to get even larger and take risks that had been prohibited since the Great Depression. A recent CRP analysis found that legislators who voted for this act received twice as much from the financial, insurance and real estate sectors as those who voted against it. Citigroup was the Act’s most aggressive supporter.

MAPLight.org's research department reveals how contributions correlate with legislation so that citizens have key information needed to draw their own conclusions about how campaign contributions affect policy. Campaign contributions are only one factor affecting legislator behavior. The correlations we highlight between industry and union giving and legislative outcomes do not show that one caused the other, and we do not make this claim. We do make the claim, however, that campaign contributions bias our legislative system. Simply put, candidates who take positions contrary to industry interests are unlikely to receive industry funds and thus have fewer resources for their election campaigns than those whose votes favor industry interests.

About MAPLight.org:

MAPLight.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization based in Berkeley, California. Its search engine at MAPLight.org illuminates the connection between Money And Politics (MAP) via a database of campaign contributions and legislative outcomes. Data sources include: GovTrack.us; Center for Responsive Politics(OpenSecrets.org); Federal Election Commission (FEC); and National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP). Support and opposition data is obtained through testimony at public hearings, proprietary news databases and public statements on the websites of trade associations and other groups. To learn more visit: MAPLight.org. If our work has been helpful to you, please consider supporting us.

Media Contact

Pamela Behrsin
Communications
Office: (510) 868-0894
pamela@maplight.org