A new Accountable.US analysis published Wednesday revealed that the 11 new Republicans tapped to serve on the House Financial Services Committee collectively accepted more than $6 million from Wall Street during the 2022 election cycle, leaving them ready to do the "industry's bidding."
The HFSC "has jurisdiction over issues pertaining to the economy, the banking system, housing, insurance, and securities and exchanges," the panel's website reads. "Additionally, the committee also has jurisdiction over monetary policy, international finance, international monetary organizations, and efforts to combat terrorist financing."
Newly elected GOP lawmakers nominated to serve on the HFSC have taken nearly $6.2 million in campaign cash from the finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) industries that the panel is tasked with refereeing, Accountable.US researchers found.
The watchdog group broke down how much money each new Republican nominee for the HFSC received during the 2022 election cycle from the FIRE industries they are set to oversee:
- Rep. Monica De La Cruz (Texas): $517,145 (plus $5,934 during her unsuccessful 2020 campaign);
- Rep. Byron Donalds (Florida): $704,320;
- Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (Wisc.): $332,788;
- Rep. Mike Flood (Neb.): $237,449;
- Rep. Andrew Garbarino (N.Y.): $1,075,969;
- Rep. Erin Houchin (Ind.): $109,876;
- Rep. Young Kim (Calif.): $2,377,995;
- Rep. Mike Lawler (N.Y.): $60,466;
- Rep. Dan Meuser (Pa.): $451,249;
- Rep. Zach Nunn (Iowa): $230,717;
- Rep. Andy Ogles (Tenn.): $89,134.
"History has shown when conservative politicians in the pocket of Wall Street banks and predatory lenders seize power, everyday consumers are left more vulnerable to greedy financial industry behavior," Liz Zelnick, director of the Economic Security and Corporate Power program at Accountable.US, said in a statement. "History is about to repeat itself as the MAGA majority in charge of overseeing the financial industry are completely awash in Wall Street money."
Notably, Donalds and Ogles were part of the far-right contingent that extracted anti-worker concessions from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) during his drawn-out battle for the speaker's gavel.
When announcing all 30 new and returning GOP lawmakers recommended to serve on the financial oversight panel, HFSC Chair Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) claimed that "the talent and real-world expertise of this group is an embarrassment of riches." He added, "I look forward to working with them to deliver on House Republicans' commitment to America."
The House Republican Steering Committee's recommendations for membership on the HFSC will soon be considered by the full party caucus and then the entire House of Representatives, where the GOP's majority makes approval likely.
Over the course of his career, McHenry has raked in more than $9.2 million in political donations from the FIRE industries while advancing "priorities written by and for Wall Street, big banks, and predatory lenders at the expense of everyday American families," Accountable.US noted.
For example, McHenry cheered in October when a panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit—which former President Donald Trump pushed in an even more conservative direction by appointing numerous far-right judges, including the trio of panel members—ruled that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's funding structure is unconstitutional.
In response to a lawsuit brought by the payday lending industry, the 5th Circuit judges—led by Cory Wilson, who received at least $10,500 in campaign cash from Wall Street when he was a Republican candidate for and member of the Mississippi House of Representatives between 2014 and 2018—argued that the CFPB's structure is unlawful because its funding comes from the Federal Reserve System rather than Congress, a feature that seeks to ensure the agency's independence.
McHenry said that he was "glad to see" the ruling and expressed his desire to bring the CFPB "under the appropriations process," where it would be vulnerable to cuts from a hostile GOP.
"Chairman McHenry, who's made no secret of his intent to ignore bad industry actors and obstruct federal efforts to protect consumers from things like junk fees, now has all the backing he needs to get payback against the pro-consumer Biden administration on behalf of his biggest donors," Zelnick said Wednesday. "Consumers beware as financial scammers rejoice."