The eight CEOs testifying Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee about how their companies are using billions of dollars in bailout funds may find that the hot seat is merely lukewarm. Nearly every member of the committee received contributions associated with these financial institutions during the 2008 election cycle, for a total of $1.8 million. And 18 of the lawmakers have their own personal funds invested in the companies.
All of the companies represented at the hearing have received millions, even billions, from the government's Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of New York Mellon, Bank of America, State Street Corporation, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. These companies' PACs and employees gave $10.6 million to all members of the 111th Congress in the 2008 election cycle, with 61 percent of that going to Democrats.