U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito wants West Virginians to know she’s a defender of community banks. From her seat on the House Financial Services Committee, Capito argues, she has protected small local financial institutions from the overreach of aggressive regulators.
Among her biggest supporters, however, are the biggest banks in the world.
Capito, a Republican, is running for West Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat that’s being vacated by Jay Rockefeller after 30 years.
She counts Citigroup and Goldman Sachs among her most generous campaign donors.
“She’s a reliable vote for all things Wall Street,” said Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets, a non-partisan group that advocates for increased market oversight of financial institutions.
Capito is part of the “Congressional Banking Caucus,” a group of lawmakers identified by the Center for Public Integrity as especially solicitous to the banking industry. They are all members of the House Financial Services Committee and have been the recipients of generous campaign support from financial services company employees and political action committees.
The other members of the group are Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Reps. Scott Garrett, R-N.J.; Sean Duffy, R-Wis.; Jim Himes, D-Conn.; Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo.; Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y.; Ed Royce, R-Calif.; David Scott, D-Ga.; Steve Stivers, R-Ohio; and Ann Wagner, R-Mo.
The group has been central to efforts led by Hensarling to undo many of the financial reforms enacted in the Dodd-Frank law of 2010. At least 30 bills have been proposed to the House during the 113th Congress, aimed at chipping away at aspects of Dodd-Frank. Members of the banking caucus sponsored or co-sponsored 20 of those laws. At least 21 have been referred to the House Financial Services Committee and three have been passed to the Senate.
Since the Center for Public Integrity published a report on these lawmakers in April, their efforts to reshape the regulatory landscape have continued.
Luetkemeyer has proposed several bills to limit the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the new consumer regulator created by Dodd-Frank, which he blames for raising costs to consumers and driving small banks out of business.