Americans for Financial Reform is a nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition working to lay the foundation for a strong, stable, and ethical financial system.

News Release: Wall Street Money In 2019-20 Election Cycle Hits Highest Level Ever

During the 2019-20 election cycle, Wall Street spent at least $2.9 billion on campaign contributions and lobbying to influence policy in Washington, according to a report released today by Americans for Financial Reform. That total, which amounts to $4 million a day, shatters the previous record of $2 billion set in the 2015-16 presidential cycle. The highest-ever level of spending by Wall Street banks and financial services reflects the industry’s relentless push to influence decision-making, regardless of the party that controls Congress or the executive branch.

Report: Wall Street Money in Washington, 2019-2020

In the 2019-20 election cycle, Wall Street banks and financial services interests reported spending $2.9 billion to influence decision-making in Washington. That total – officially reported expenditures on campaign contributions and lobbying – works out to $4 million a day. This level is a full 50 percent above the previous record of $2 billion in the previous presidential cycle, reflecting the industry’s enduring effort to influence policy no matter which party controls Congress and the executive branch.

Report: Wall Street Money Supporting 147 Lawmakers Objecting to Certification

On January 6, 2021, Congress was scheduled to formally certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. But based on spurious allegations of voter fraud, 147 Republican members of the Senate and the House of Representatives voted to object to either the results in Arizona or Pennsylvania or both. Individuals and entities associated with the financial sector reported making a total of $43,483,590 in contributions to these members.

Joint Statement: Over 415 Orgs Call on President Biden to Cancel Federal Student Debt Immediately using Executive Action

Today, over 415 organizations sent an updated letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris, calling on them to use executive authority to cancel federal student debt immediately. In the letter, the 416 advocacy groups highlight that cancelling student debt would stimulate the economy, help reduce racial wealth gaps, and could have a positive impact on health outcomes.

Letters to Regulators: AFR Education Fund Calls on SEC for Stronger Regulation of Funds in Wake of March 2020 Bailout

The AFR Education Fund sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission responding to a request for comment on regulatory options for money market funds in light of the collapse and bailout of many money market funds during the March 2020 coronavirus financial shock. The letter called for strong new regulatory steps to fix incentives that create financial instability for these products. It also questioned whether additional regulation should be extended to other types of fixed-income investment funds beyond money market funds narrowly defined, as there is evidence that these types of fund arrangements can also contribute to financial instability.