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Bailed-Out Companies Spend Millions to Lobby Congress

We've had plenty of examples over the past nine months showing that the banking industry hasn't stopped lobbying just because it's received billions in government bailout money. Right now, the industry is warring against the Obama administration's proposal for a consumer protection agency for financial products. The disclosure forms just out for the second quarter of this year show how much bailed-out firms spent lobbying Congress.

The Hill reports that eight large banks that first received bailout funds back in October spent a total of "more than $12.4 million in the first half of 2009" on lobbying, slightly more than they spent in the first half of 2008.

The AP provides more of the individual totals: Bank of America ($52.5 billion in aid) spent $800,000 lobbying this spring, up from $660,000 spent in the first three months of this year (though only about half of what it spent in the quarter last year); Citigroup ($50 billion in aid) spent $1.7 million from April through June, even more than it spent during that same period in 2008. Even the auto companies spent millions lobbying: GM ($50.4 billion in aid) spent $2.8 million. About the only bailed-out company that isn't lobbying Congress on legislation is AIG, which stopped after criticism over its lobbying last fall.

Other links this morning:
Feds Pick Up Pace on Financial Fraud Investigations (National Journal)
Obama Auto Adviser Tells Lawmakers Not to Undo Dealer Closings (NYT)
CIT to Shrink to Avoid Bankruptcy Court ($) (WSJ)
GE Capital Gets Approval for TLGP Exit Plan ($) (WSJ)
U.S. Proposes Restrictions on Credit-Rating Companies (Bloomberg)




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