On Capitol Hill, it pays to pay. Wall Street certainly pays, and a new report unveils just how much, as well as what it gets in return.
Since 2006, the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (FIRE) sector, has poured around $4.2 billion into efforts to maintain influence in the halls of Congress, according to a new report by Elect Democracy, a nonpartisan effort by human rights organization Global Exchange. That comes out to $1,331 a minute.
Of that total, $879 million has gone to the campaigns of lawmakers. Like most influence peddlers in Washington, the FIRE industry takes positions on legislation that affects the way it operates. Donations can't guarantee that a lawmaker votes a certain way on a bill, of course, but the intrinsic goal of lobbying is to encourage them to support the cause, in part by padding their campaign coffers.
How well does FIRE's operation work?
Thanks to Elect Democracy's new legislative scorecard, which tracks FIRE sector donations to members of Congress and rates their Wall Street voting loyalty, we now have a better idea.
Below, the findings from Elect Democracy. How do your congressional representatives stack up?