Campaign 2010

Dec 08, 2010

Wall Street Backed Spencer Bachus Selected For Financial Services Chair

Despite the Tea Party wave that swept 85 House Republican freshmen into office and called for a revolt against Wall Street special interests, an internal House Republican committee selected the man who negotiated TARP bailouts on behalf of House Republicans, Representative Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama), to Chair the Financial Services Committee.

Bachus stands opposed to principles of the Tea Party movement.  Not only has Bachus made "unusual" stock trades and accepted over $1 million in campaign contributions from Wall Street, but he was also the Republican chief negotiator of the Tea Party-hated Troubled Assets Relief Program bailouts.

"Republicans putting Spencer Bachus in charge of financial regulation is voting for the fox to guard the hen house," said Ryan Rudominer of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  "The selection of Spencer Bachus is a clear sign that House Republicans have no intention to honor their promise to change how business is done in Washington. The 85 Republican freshmen who owe their new jobs to the Tea Party can now either live up to their campaign rhetoric or confirm Bachus and ignore the people who swept them into office."

BACKGROUND

Bachus’ Trading “Unusual” for Member with Key Role in Market. Bachus made dozens of trades in 2007, most of them short-term options in which Bachus bet a stock would rise or fall. It was reported that Bachus made up to $160,000 for the year in trades. The Associated Press reported that his “rapid-fire trades” were “unusual for a leading member of Congress, particularly one with such a key market role.” [Associated Press, 9/23/08]

Bachus has Taken Over $1 Million from Wall Street. While in Congress, Bachus has taken over $1 million in contributions from Wall Street. Bachus has taken $410,508 from finance and credit companies and $686,116 from securities and investment companies while in Congress. [opensecrets.org, accessed 12/08/10]

Bachus Negotiated the Troubled Assets Relief Program. As the Ranking Member on House Financial Services, Bachus negotiated the TARP bailouts with Democrats “on behalf of House Republicans.” [Daily Caller, 12/08/10]

Bachus Supported Final Financial Bailout Bill. In 2008, Bachus voted for a bill that gave a historic rescue to the financial industry. The bill specifically allowed the Treasury Department to buy up to $700 billion in troubled assets, the largest government intervention in the financial market since the Great Depression.  The measure was similar to a previous piece of legislation (HR 3997) but included significant restrictions on the Treasury program, including parceling out the money in installments, limiting executive compensation at participating firms and establishing a government insurance plan for asset-backed securities, paid for by financial institutions.  [CQ Today, 10/03/08] [HR 1424, Vote #681, 10/03/08]