Wall Street lobbyists feeling left out

WALL STREET LOBBYISTS FEELING LEFT OUT…. Financial industry lobbyists, hedge fund managers, and Wall Street elites had a plan: rely on Republicans to kill the financial regulatory reform package as it moved through the Senate. That didn’t work out — GOP tactics delayed the process, but didn’t kill the bill.

At that point, the industry moved to Plan B: craft the bill more to Wall Street’s liking during the conference committee. As it turns out, that’s not coming together, either.

Wall Street’s lobbying army is marching around Washington in a push to shape the final financial-overhaul bill. But it has gotten harder to get through the door with some lawmakers.

One bank has complained that it no longer has access to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D., Mass.), whose schedule has filled up to accommodate negotiations with his Senate counterparts during the next two weeks. […]

There are three reasons why bending the ear of lawmakers suddenly has become a bigger challenge for financial-services industry lobbyists. Some lawmakers want to avoid even the slightest appearance that Wall Street is getting one last chance to throw its weight and money around on key provisions of the bill, including toughened oversight and other banking and securities cash cows.

Some lawmakers also have said they have little time to listen to outside lobbyists, particularly since Democrats are hoping to have the financial-overhaul bill signed into law by July 4.

Maybe it’s just me, but I consider the industry’s complaints a good sign.

Tanya Somanader, meanwhile, notes that Republicans have been far more accommodating: “During initial Senate consideration of the bill, House GOP members “huddled” with over 100 lobbyists to ‘kill’ the ‘financial reform bill.’ House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has even called upon bankers to ‘stand up for themselves’ against ‘those little punk staffers’ trying to improve regulation. But, when it comes to killing significant progressive initiatives, GOP and K street have made such collusion a habit.”

There’s a chance, of course, that Republicans will re-take Congress, and industry lobbyists can go back to writing legislation again, but until then, the Democratic majority isn’t making time for them.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.