Housing Industry Funnels Cash to Lawmakers

Campaign contributions soar compared to 2006
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2008 7:16 AM CDT
Housing Industry Funnels Cash to Lawmakers
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass, received $2,000 from Countrywide before it became a center of controversy.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The housing industry has given more campaign cash to lawmakers and political parties this election cycle than it gave through the entire 2006 cycle, the Wall Street Journal reports, as an emergency housing bill containing favorable provisions for the industry has been working its way through Congress. Cash has flowed to legislators who control the bill, including Senate Banking Committee members and those on the House Financial Services Committee.

Mortgage bankers and brokers, real-estate companies and home builders had given over $95 million through May, while at this point in 2006 they’d given just $57 million.  The donations are intended for “relationship building,” a means of teaching lawmakers “how our industry works and its perspective,” says a lobbyist. The suggestion that it might affect policy decisions is “BS,” says recipient Rep. Barney Frank. (Read more Congress stories.)

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