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How Freddie Mac Bought Congress

December 7th, 2008

We are in a financial crisis that began because of a bursting housing bubble. Freddie Mac was a big part of this as they continued to loosen their lending standards. They also found ways to pay off Congress to keep them from being more regulated.

In 2006, Freddie Mac spent $11.7 million in lobbying to avoid regulations. Some of the bigger payments include:

-Sen. Alfonse D’Amato of New York, at Park Strategies, $240,000.

-Rep. Vin Weber of Minnesota, at Clark & Weinstock, $360,297.

-Rep. Susan Molinari of New York, at Washington Group, $300,062.

-Susan Hirschmann at Williams & Jensen, former chief of staff to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, $240,790.

-Newt Gingrich, $300,000

- Viet Dinh, former Justice Department official, $300,000

This from the AP shows some of the extents that they went to to avoid regulation:

… how Freddie Mac thwarted efforts to bring a tough regulatory bill sponsored by Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, John Sununu of New Hampshire, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and John McCain of Arizona to a full Senate vote.

At a meeting days after Hagel’s bill went to the full Senate, Syron and McLoughlin berated the company’s in-house lobbyists for failing to keep Hagel’s bill corralled in committee, said the four people familiar with events at Freddie Mac at the time.

Freddie Mac shifted into high gear, secretly paying a Republican consulting firm, Washington-based DCI Group, $2 million to kill Hagel’s legislation. The covert lobbying campaign targeted Republican senators in 2005-06.

According to the newly obtained records, DCI’s deployment was part of a broader campaign that targeted mainly Republicans on Capitol Hill.

This evidence shows how much influence lobbying and special interests groups have in Washington. It is really a huge problem. Congress isn’t doing what is in the best interest of the people of America, they are doing what is in the best interest of their bank accounts and re-election chances. Companies should not be allowed to give benefits to the people that are charged with regulating them. It really is ridiculous. You can see the consequences all around.