Emails Indicate Wall Street Lobbyists Help Write Bills, Draft Legislation

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Lobbyists aren’t simply influencing the way politicians draft legislation – they’re also helping them write it, according to a recent report by the New York Times.

After reviewing emails from several of Wall Street’s most powerful lobbyists and Washington’s most powerful legislators, the Times concludes the writings indicate “a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington.”

Specifically, recommendations made by Citigroup – a leading global bank – were copied nearly word for word by legislators. The bank’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill.

Lawmakers made only minor changes to the document – two of which included making words plural.

Other highlights include:

Lobbyists paying $2,500 to dine with Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), the co-sponsor of a bill to defang Dodd-Frank.

The quote: “We will provide input if we see a bill and it is something we have interest in,” said Kenneth E. Bentsen Jr., a former lawmaker turned Wall Street lobbyist, who now serves as president of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, or Sifma.

Corporate lawyers writing legislation via e-mail.

Overall, the lobbying campaign shows how, three years after Congress passed the most complete set of regulation overhauls since the Depression, Wall Street is finding Washington a much “easier” partner to work with once again.

Sources: New York Times, Business Insider